A newly released book celebrates the late Albert Boscov, who was chairman of the department store chain that bears his family’s name.
“Did You Boscov Today?” was compiled by Boscov’s grandchildren — Joshua Aichenbaum, Jonah Boscov-Brown and Amelia Xanthe Boscov — and includes dozens of photos, drawings by local artists and more than 100 stories that give “insight into Al Boscov’s warmth, genius, energy and drive,” according to the online description of the book.
The book also includes tributes from former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and TV personality Gene London, as well as anecdotes related by Boscov’s coworkers, friends and family.
“It was this perfect mixture that led to his successes in business, his pursuit of finding new ways to help revitalize his hometown of Reading, PA and his ability to make everyone in his family and extended Boscov’s family always feel loved,” the description reads.
The title of the book references the promotion “Did You Boscov Today” that the retail chain carries out each year.
All proceeds from “Did You Boscov Today?” will be going to the non-profit Boscov started — Our City Reading Inc. — which was formed to assist Reading in restoring houses and apartments in the city. Boscov also led the development of the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, the Reading Movies 11 and IMAX and the development of the Hilton DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Reading, which opened in 2016.
Boscov passed away Feb. 10 at the age of 87, a little more than one week after he sent a letter to employees announcing that he was battling late stage cancer. A memorial service held Feb. 26 at the Santander Arena drew 1,000 friends, family, coworkers and members of the community who wanted a chance to say goodbye.
The Boscov’s Department Store chain was founded by Boscov’s father Solomon. Boscov and his siblings worked in the store in downtown Reading as children — Albert Boscov started working at the store when he was six.
In an interview with Digital First Media in 2014, Boscov said that before he started to work in the store, he used to play in the store. He said in that interview that retail can be fun, and that he spent his career playing in the stores to make the retail experience fun for customers through promotions, events and customer service.
After college, in 1954, Boscov joined the company full-time. The company began to grow, and by 2005, the chain had 39 stores doing more than $1 billion in sales. Boscov retired in 2006 — but returned in 2008 after the company filed for bankruptcy. Under his leadership once again, the company emerged from bankruptcy in 2009 and returned to profitability.
In 2013, Boscov was inducted into the Pennsylvania Retailers’ Association Hall of Fame — the organization’s first inductee.
Boscov’s currently has 47 store locations in seven states.