Is Boscov’s On Life Support?

The Boscovs department store chain, based in Reading, is on life support according to various news reports.  Interestingly the newspapers say the chain is cash poor and unable to stock its shelves for back to school.  I find this incredible because we’re into the back to school season so its quite late to be looking for financing for those goods.  Buyers at chains like this are bringing in Christmas  merchandise and buying their winter lines, not back to school.

The fact vendors have cut them off is significant.  The company is searching for financing, good luck in this economic climate.

I have no love for Boscovs.  I don’t shop there because the stores are very unfriendly for those of us with disabilities.  Chocked too full of racks, with narrow aisles clogged with boxes and other impediments to safety, Boscov stores are accidents waiting to happen for customers.  I’ve known disable people who did get hurt in their stores due to their negligence keeping clear aisles and the company fights these legal cases tooth and nail when they’re obviusly at fault.

The bigger question, politically, is how a Boscov bankruptcy could affect Al Boscov’s campaign contributions.  The conservative Democrats spreads his cash to many politicians, including maxxing out for the likes of Rick Santorum and Joe Pitts.  He almost never supports liberals and progressives and has a personal stranglehold on Berks County politics.

No politician in Berks County wants to cross Al Boscov.  He writes sizable checks to State Representatives, County Commissioners and others.  Not one of them can no to the man without risking their career.  The result are some dubious projects lately.  A large shopping center being built in Exeter Township was rammed through amidst lies and deception because he was behind the effort.  The same for a questionable apartment complex in Reading.  Boscov always demands tax abatements for his projects and always gets them whether they are worthy of tax subsidizing or not.  People in Exeter are up in arms over the Exeter Commons project after an ousted Township Commissioner claimed there was no public opposition to the project.

I won’t shed any tears if Al Boscov goes down or if his dangerous stores go bust.

5 thoughts on “Is Boscov’s On Life Support?”

  1. so I wonder how much of his fortune is tied up in it .. or whether he’ll get away with out much damage .. I would not be surprised to see it go bankrupt .. a number of kinda famous chains are so far .. this will be the first one I know of with a significant presence in this state

  2.  I respect your right to offer up your view point and opinion. But remember the 7,000 employees through out the store chain that could lose their jobs and the same 7,000 people that pay taxes to fund programs to help the less fortunate disabled people like you. FYI Al left the business 2 years ago to concentrate on helping Reading come back from the shit hole that it was to something we can be proud of. He has much to do there and I hope he can get it done before he leaves us.There is so much good that he has done for not only Reading but for many of the areas where his stores are. Trust me when I say he is a giver not a taker. If the company doesn’t survive it hve no effect on his campaign contributions. His money has been made!  

  3. bad situation comes partially from being such bad stores to shop in.  They crowd too many displays in too little space making it difficult to navigate the stores.  This has been a problem there forever and they never changed it even after the ADA was passed.  Yes, too many people are going to lose jobs but whose fault is it they’re bad stores?  Then there’s the situation earlier this year when we got ripped off by them.  How many other customers got cheated there and never went back?  Even after I wrote about that no one made any attempt to rectify the illegal scam they ran by us.  I shed no tears for Boscovs.

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