Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Boscov's bought back by family

I've posted a few times about Boscov's bankruptcy and the efforts to save it, most recently mentioning here that the Boscov family was trying to buy the chain.

Apparently, it has happened:
Has retail patriarch and larger-than-life Reading philanthropist Albert R. Boscov pulled off the miracle that saves his father's legacy - and the nation's oldest family-owned department store chain?

The irrepressible Boscov, 79, has orchestrated a deal, announced today, that may rescue his family's company from the clutches of bankruptcy.

Boscov signed an agreement to buy back most of the assets of Boscov's Department Store L.L.C. despite the credit and consumer crises that have brought much deal-making to a standstill in the last two months.

There are still hoops to be jumped through, most importantly court approval, but the bid is supported by the creditors and the only competitive bid has been withdrawn, so it seems likely to go through.

The chain will emerge from Chapter 11 with 39 stores that generate about a billion in revenue. Ten stores have been closed.

I am, to put it mildly, skeptical about the department store channel. I think it is dying. But nonetheless, I wish the Boscovs and their employees and vendors the best in proving me wrong. Perhaps they will be the ones, after many false claims, who will truly "reinvent" the channel.

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