Albert Boscov, chairman of Boscov’s Department Stores, has late-stage cancer, company officials said.
Boscov, 87, informed his 8,000 employees about his diagnosis in a letter, said Jim Boscov, CEO and vice chairman, and the nephew of Albert.
Albert Boscov continues to work at the retail chain started by his immigrant father in 1914 in Reading. Boscov’s bills itself as the largest, family owned department store chain.
Albert Boscov’s folksy, approachable personality and quick, impish wit permeate the store’s culture and its legendary advertising campaigns.
While other department store chains such as Macy’s, Sears and J.C. Penney are struggling and closing stores, the privately owned, family run Boscov’s continues to grow and be profitable, with sales exceeding $1 billion.
The company opened its most recent store near Utica, N.Y., in October and expects to open its 46th store in Erie this year.
Jim Boscov, who was promoted to CEO in 2015, said he does not expect any changes and there will be no change in ownership, according to news reports.
Jim Boscov released the following statement:
“Yesterday, Albert asked me to convey a personal letter he wrote to his coworkers informing them that he had received a diagnosis of late-stage cancer. In typical fashion, the first thing he did was thank them for the outstanding results for 2016. Our year-end results were far ahead of other retailers. He then encouraged them to find the best possible bargains for the next sales event.
“He then told them of his diagnosis and voiced strong confidence in the management team and in all Boscov’s co-workers to continue to do what has made Boscov’s successful in the past.
“All of us who worked closely with Albert for many years have been infused with the spirit, the drive and the ethic it takes to succeed, and our best compliment to Albert is to continue doing what we do. That’s what made us successful and unique in the retail industry.
“Boscov’s is the largest family owned department store in the country, and as I promised Albert, I’m personally committed to lead, and our families are solidly behind our very capable team to continue long into the future, doing what we’ve done successfully.”