WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- At this point, we’re used to hearing about big department stores falling on hard times. However, in 2017, Boscov’s actually had a record-breaking sales year, selling its biggest volume ever.
Customers in Wilkes-Barre seem to think it’s the personal touch that sets Boscov's apart from other stores.
“Many of the salespeople here have been here for time eternity. We're only here for half the year, but they recognize you,” Gordon Simington of Lake Silkworth said.
“Well, one thing, it's close to where I live. I don't have to catch a bus and there's good sales in here,” Carol of Wilkes-Barre said.
Bon-Ton and Sears are two anchor stores in the Wyoming Valley Mall in the process of closing up shop in Wilkes-Barre Township.
However, at Boscov’s in downtown Wilkes-Barre, business is booming.
Boscov’s Chairman and CEO Jim Boscov said, “The Wilkes-Barre location is a very good example of a store with loyal clientele. We had a perfectly healthy brick and mortar increase in the last year there.”
Downtown business officials said the store on South Main Street also brings in business for other shops.
"It keeps everything else going in downtown Wilkes-Barre. To me, it's the central core of downtown Wilkes-Barre,” president of the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association John Maday said.
Even at a time when many people are shopping online, Boscov’s had a single digit increase in sales at its physical stores.
Shoppers said the reason why they think the department store has been so successful is that they actually enjoy going there.
“You could walk into that store and they know your name. It's basically the old Cheers scenario,” Maday said.
“You just feel it's a hometown atmosphere,” Simington said.
Boscov’s has plans to open a 47th store in Connecticut.