Boscov's getting out of large-appliance business
Major appliances will be making way for more couches and dining room sets as department store giant Boscov's will begin phasing out video and household appliances beginning on Thanksgiving.
Jim Boscov, vice chairman of the company, said during a phone interview on 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.
"Furniture is an area of potential growth," Mr. Boscov said.
Mr. Boscov said there was a massive uptick in TV sales sparked by the 2009 switch from analog to digital broadcasting, but the market growth wasn't sustainable.
"Since then it has diminished considerably," he said.
Mr. Boscov also said there has been an increase in the company's furniture sales, and customer feedback indicates this is a department that needs more space in stores.
"We see good growth in the furniture business we have," Mr. 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 markdowns on major appliances and televisions.
"It will vary by the appliance, but people will see 30 percent or more than that," Mr. Boscov said. "There will be big discounts."
Mountaintop resident Adam Tereska, 41, was comparing prices Thursday on TVs at the Boscov's in the Mall at Steamtown. He said he can understand the reason Boscov's is discontinuing the products, but he'll miss the prices and the alternative to other appliance retailers, as he considers himself a careful shopper.
"In this economy, you have to be," Mr. Tereska said.
Mr. Boscov said he expects the phase-out to end around Jan. 31, but he does not expect the move to affect employees on the sales floor.
"Salespeople will be absorbed into other areas of the store," Mr. Boscov said. "We've got a lot of very good people. We believe there are positions for them elsewhere in the store."