Boscov's: A department store chain bounces back from bankruptcy

The Boscov's store at the Granite Run Mall in Media, Pa. The Reading-based department store chain has filed for bankruptcy and announced the closing of 10 stores. This is not one of them.

Boscov's, the nation's oldest family-owned department store chain, is expanding for the first time since emerging from  bankruptcy. The company says it's doing so well that its employees can expect bonuses for the second year in a row.

The company, based in Reading, Pa., declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy Aug. 4, 2008, and in a swift reorganization that stunned even the judge overseeing the case, was back in business three months later through a rescue engineered by retired family patriarch Albert R. Boscov. He was 79 at the time, and before that had been credited with turning his father's single store into a regional chain.

Read the voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, filed Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

Read the declaration of Michael J. Hughes, Boscov’s executive vice president for capital development.

From The Inquirer's archives:

Boscov's seeks private financing to refill inventory
Contending with a cash shortage that has limited its ability to sufficiently stock its store shelves, Boscov's said yesterday that it was looking to the private-equity world for a loan to replenish inventory in time for back-to-school season. (July 29, 2008) Read the article

Boscov's sails into retail turbulence
What’s in store: The retailer’s private-equity loan may end family-owned autonomy. (July 30, 2008) Read the article

Boscov's CEO upbeat despite bankruptcy rumors
The top executive at Boscov's Department Store L.L.C. would neither confirm nor deny yesterday a report that the Reading department store chain could file for bankruptcy as early as Monday. (Aug. 1, 2008) Read the article

Did expansion lead to Boscov's woes?
Things have gone south for the chain since new leadership bought 10 used stores. (Aug. 3, 2008) Read the article

Boscov's files for bankruptcy protection
For months, family members scraped and scrounged to save their beloved Boscov's. The pressure was intense. An "emotional roller coaster," according to one company official. By Friday night, it had become clear: Bankruptcy was inevitable. (Aug. 5, 2008) Read the article

Many say Boscov's filing just the start
It illustrated the perils for businesses that borrowed heavily during boom times. (Aug. 10, 2008) Read the article

Boscov’s closing sales start Saturday
Boscov's Department Stores L.L.C., which filed for bankruptcy protection last week, announced today that it will begin store-closing sales at 10 stores on Saturday. (Aug. 15, 2008) Read the article

Boscov’s receives OK for bankruptcy financing
Boscov's said today that it won final approval from the bankruptcy court in Delaware to receive $250 million to help the company operate during its bankruptcy reorganization. (Sept. 4, 2008) Read the article

Boscov’s bidding war could include family
The bidding war for the country's oldest family-owned department store has begun. Or, shall we say, the first salvo has been fired. (Sept. 18, 2008) Read the article

Bankruptcy judge approves sales plan for Boscov's
A Delaware bankruptcy judge yesterday approved fast-tracked plans for an auction sale later this month of Pennsylvania-based department store chain Boscov's. (Oct. 2, 2008) Read the article

Family members seek to get Boscov's back
Members of the family that founded and ran the Boscov's department store chain for 97 years before it landed in bankruptcy in August reportedly have submitted a bid to buy back the business. (Oct. 17, 2008) Read the article

Family bids to rescue Boscov's
Retail patriarch Albert R. Boscov signed an agreement to buy back most of the assets of the department store, despite the credit and consumer crises that have brought much deal-making to a standstill in the last two months. (Nov. 5, 2008) Read the article

Boscov hopes to have chain back by Black Friday
There were no fewer than 55 men in dark suits seated before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross here yesterday, and 79-year-old Albert R. Boscov would have blended into the monastic monochrome if not for this: He was the only one on the edge of his seat. Literally. (Nov. 19, 2008) Read the article

Boscov's gets $35 million loan from Pa.
Gov. Rendell announced yesterday that he had arranged $35 million in state-backed federal loans to help the struggling Boscov's department-store chain emerge from bankruptcy and to protect 5,000 Pennsylvania jobs. (Nov. 21, 2008) Read the article


Federal bankruptcy judge OKs Boscov's sale
A federal bankruptcy judge approved the sale of the Boscov's department store chain yesterday to Albert R. Boscov in a $305 million deal that is expected to result in the ouster of Boscov's nephew, Ken Lakin, as chief executive. (Nov. 22, 2008) Read the article

Boscov's officially back in family hands
The Boscov family today closed on the deal to buy back its 39-store department store chain from bankruptcy for about $300 million. (Dec. 5, 2008) Read the article

Boscov aid plan appears back on target
Perhaps it was a byproduct of what one politician referred to as "bailout syndrome." But delays and resistance that had threatened to derail the Boscov's department store chain's efforts to secure nearly $50 million in public aid appear to have been largely overcome. (Feb. 13, 2009) Read the article

Celebrating bank's role in saving Boscov's
It's a part of the bailout story few hear: bankers actually taking tax dollars and putting them back onto the street. (March 10, 2009) Read the article

Pa.-based Boscov's chain gets government loan
The regional department store chain Boscov's is getting a loan of more than $43 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. (Aug. 6, 2009) Read the article

Boscov's emerges from bankruptcy
It was a rubber-stamp hearing, the kind of thing less-sentimental businessmen have their attorneys take care of. But that's not how Al Boscov rolls. No, the 79-year-old savior of his family's department store chain just had to be here yesterday. (Sep. 18, 2009) Read the article