Boscov's Department Store's History and Growth

Department Store
All Started With One Man's Dream
and One Little Corner Store in Downtown
Reading, Pennsylvania

In 1911, Solomon Boscov arrived in Reading, Pennsylvania, purchased $8 worth of merchandise, rolled his wares into a pack and set off into the surrounding countryside. Soon he established a regular route through Lancaster and Berks County. He sold wares, exchanged merchandise for meals, did chores in exchange for lodging and made hundreds of friends. Within the year Solomon saved enough money to buy a horse and wagon and increase his inventory.

Solomon established the first boscov's at 9th and Pike Streets in Reading. Through hard work, honest and loyal co-workers, fair prices and quality merchandise, the small store expanded year after year. In 1954, Solomon's son Albert and son-in-law, Edwin Lakin actively joined the company and the original store was renovated and enlarged. Albert Boscov's love of advertising had an immediate impact on the company as our newspaper ads were enlarged and made more exciting. In 1962, the company began its expansion program with the opening of an exciting, contemporary "Boscov's West" in November. It was followed by 'North" in August 1965. Tragedy struck in February 1967 when fire destroyed the original "East" store at 9th and Pike Streets. A new 60,000+square foot "Boscov's East" was opened in Exeter Township in November of that year with much excitement and celebration. But, the celebration was cut short that evening when word reached the Boscov's family, who were busy greeting customers and running registers at East, that Boscov West was on fire. The fire gutted the store. The decision to rebuild West was made after thousands of phone calls swamped the switchboard and letters weighed down mailmen, all pleading "please give us back our store." A rebuilt West opened in November 1968.

The out of town expansion began in August 1972 with the opening of the Lebanon Store. Stores came in quick succession after that as the reader will see from the opening dates noted on the Store Location List on the following pages. Today, there are expansion and refurbishing plans for several existing stores, as well as more opportunities for new Boscov's Stores on the drawing board. We look to the coming years with great expectations.

Although our founder, Solomon Boscov, passed away in 1969, it is the company's conviction and resolution that all the Boscov's stores retain the same feelings of warmth, friendliness, courtesy, charm and service that he put into his first store. We know we can, with your help.