I saw something last night that I haven’t seen in ages: an honest to goodness full-line department store. Boscov’s made their Virginia debut at Piedmont Mall in Danville earlier this month and I had a chance to visit last night.
For those who aren’t familiar with Reading, Pa.-based Boscov’s, it’s a cross between Macy’s and Sears with a little Wal-Mart thrown in. They claim to be the largest family owned department store chain in America.
They’re located primarily in the Northeast, but are expanding out from their base into new markets. It's not a high fashion store, but it's chock full of practically everything else. The prices are reasonable for what they carry, and the service is very good.
Boscov’s stores are typically very large (The Danville store is 173,000 square feet) and they carry a truly astounding variety of merchandise. From Estēe Lauder to Lego to Waterford crystal to fresh-made fudge to a multi-purpose room (!), this store covers a lot of territory. And it was packed with customers.
The Danville store replaced a shuttered Hills/Ames location, and has made a huge difference in the mall already. Boscov’s appeals to much of the same demographic to Hills and Ames did, but offers a higher-quality presentation with better brands and substantially better aesthetics.
Because Boscov’s is considered a classier co-anchor, the other department stores in the mall (Belk, Sears and JCPenney) have upgraded their presentations to compete and a number of new retailers have taken some of the prime empty spaces in the mall, including Pac Sun, Hot Topic and Aéropostale.
The only thing I was somewhat disappointed about was that Boscov’s had modernized their presentation to the point that they famously tacky interiors I’ve heard about on older stores was nowhere t be seen. It’s actually a good thing, but it would have made for more interesting pictures. LOL