Boscov's will stop selling major appliances and televisions in order to make room for expansion of home furnishing departments, department store chain Vice Chairman Jim Boscov said Thursday.
He said the shift comes in response to customer demand.
(Appliances and electronics are) not an area that is very big for us, Boscov said. At the same time, the furniture business is growing very rapidly.
I think that we're probably one of the last department stores to be in the electronics business, Boscov said. Macy's and The Bon-Ton exited this business many years ago. I think we liked the idea because we could offer full service, and we were hesitant to do it, but it just makes good sense to listen to our customers.
The store plans to liquidate its appliance and electronics offerings by late January, Boscov said.
The liquidation will open additional floor space for home furnishings, including bedroom sets, dining sets and Oriental rugs. While those items are popular sellers, Boscov said the stores have limited space to display them now.
You can set it up like room settings, where people can really visualize what it's going to look like, he said. Giving people the ability to see it the way they would see it in their homes I think is a big help.
It will also open space for merchandise from national chain Bombay Company, which Boscov said will be sold in dedicated areas called Bombay Shops. By reducing overhead costs associated with standalone shops, Boscov said he expects to sell that merchandise at 30 to 40 percent of what it would cost in a Bombay Company shopping mall location.
Boscov said store associates selling electronics and appliances can be absorbed by the expanded furniture departments, and the company does not anticipate laying off employees because of the shift. The stores will maintain electronics service departments to serve past customers and because the departments provide third-party service to other companies.
Founded in Reading in 1911, the family-owned Boscov's chain operates 41 department stores across five states in the Mid-Atlantic region. In addition to its downtown Wilkes-Barre location, Boscov's has stores in the Laurel Mall in Hazleton and the Steamtown Mall in Scranton.