Boscov's to leave behind appliance department
Major appliances will be making way for more couches and dining room sets as the department store giant, Boscov's, will begin phasing out of the video and household appliance business beginning this Thanksgiving.
Jim Boscov, vice chairman of the company, said during a phone interview Thursday that the decision came as a result of declining appliance sales and a burgeoning furniture market. Still, the company will remain in the service business for electronics and appliances.
According to the Federal Communication Commission, on June 12, 2009, the group switched from analog broadcasting to an all-digital format. Boscov attributes this move to a massive uptick in appliance sales, but the one event could not sustain market growth.
"Since then it has diminished considerably," Boscov said.
Boscov also said that there has been an increase in the company's furniture growth, and from hearing customer feedback, he said he thinks that this is a department that needs more space in stores.
"We see good growth in the furniture business we have," Boscov said. "We know from customer comments that there are things they want that we don't have the room for."
The store will begin the process with an upcoming announcement in newspapers, he said, followed by a period of mark-downs on major appliances and televisions.
While comparing prices on televisions at the Boscov's in the Steamtown Mall, Adam Tereska, 41, of Mountain Top, said he can understand the reason why they are moving out of the industry, but he'll miss the prices and the additional outlet to purchase appliances, as he considers himself a careful shopper.
"In this economy you have to be," Tereska said.
Boscov said he expects the phase-out to end around Jan. 31, but he does not expect the salespeople the appliance section employed to have to leave the company.
"Salespeople will be absorbed into other areas of the store," Boscov said. "We've got a lot of very good people. We believe there are positions for them elsewhere in the store."