Boscov’s, one of the anchor stores at the Montgomery Mall in Montgomeryville, was slated to be closed. The Reading-based retailer filed for Chapter
Boscov's, one of the anchor stores at the Montgomery Mall in Montgomeryville, was slated to be closed. The Reading-based retailer filed for Chapter 11 protection this week and will close 10 stores. The York County store, in York Galleria, will remain open, company officials said. (McClatchy News Service)

Despite its Monday morning Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing, Boscov's will not close its sole York County store at the York Galleria.

"It's a strong, viable business that is planned to continue," said Maralyn Lakin, senior vice president of marketing and public relations for the Reading-based retailer.

Lankin said the company has no timetable for when its yet-to-be completed North Hanover Mall store will open.

"That will be up to the (bankruptcy) court," she said.

John Huston, code enforcement officer for Hanover, said a person associated with Boscov's planned North Hanover mall store called his office last month stating the retailer would resume construction within 4-to-8-weeks.

That store had been scheduled to open in spring 2009.

The Boscov’s department store at North Hanover Mall was slated to open in the spring.
The Boscov's department store at North Hanover Mall was slated to open in the spring. ((Evening Sun File Photo by Meghan Gauriloff) )

The decision by Boscov's, which claims to be the nation's largest family-owned, independent department store chain, to voluntarily file for bankruptcy protection was driven by a drop in consumer spending and the general downturn in the economy, according to a company statement.

The filing will allow the retailer time to strengthen its balance sheet and close underperforming stores.

Soon, Boscov's will close 10 of its 49 stores, including its location at the Harrisburg East Mall.

"After completing a detailed analysis of all our operations, we made the difficult decision to close 10 underperforming stores," said Ken Lakin, chairman and chief executive officer of Boscov's.


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"This will help us realize additional cost savings and operational efficiencies and improve our financial base so that we can better serve all of our constituencies."

In an effort to keep merchandise on the shelves for the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons, the company has secured an agreement in principle for $250 million in financing from Bank of America.

The company plans to start working with its creditors and other parties on a reorganization plan.

The retailer expects to file its plan to the bankruptcy court later this fall.

In terms of workforce, Boscov's expects to be able to keep paying active employee salaries and benefits, according to the statement.

Boscov's will continue to honor its current gift cards, product warranties and bridal registries.

The Boscov Travel Center at the York Galleria, a separate entity from the department-store chain, was not affected by the bankruptcy filing.

sadkins@ydr.com;771-2047

AT A GLANCE

By filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Boscov's will continue to operate its department stores while the bankruptcy court supervises its reorganization. Boscov's will remain in control of its assets while the company has temporary relief from its creditors.

WHO BOSCOV'S OWES

On Monday, Reading--based Boscov's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The action will free the retailer from vendor lawsuits while it reorganizes its finances.

The financial reorganization will include the closing of 10 of the company's 49 stores. Boscov's has no immediate plans to close its sole York County store at the York Galleria in Springettsbury Township.

Here is a list of Boscov's top 10 unsecured creditors and their claims against the retailer.

--- Jones Apparel Group Inc.; $3.1 million.

--- Kellwood; $2.6 million

--- VF1; $1.3 million

--- Dunner; $1.26 million

--- GMAC Commercial Credit LLC.; $1.2 million

--- Hanes; $1.51 million

--- PVH; $1.1 million

--- Adidas; $1.03 million

--- H&R Real Estate Investment Trust; $1.02 million

--- Kellermeyer Building Services LLC.; $939,762

CLOSED STORES

Boscov's, which announced Monday that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, said it will close 10 stores. According to the Associated Press, they are:

Maryland

Marley Station Mall, Glen Burnie

Owings Mills Mall, Owings Mills

White Marsh Mall, Baltimore

New Jersey

Monmouth Mall, Eatontown

Pennsylvania

Harrisburg East Mall, Harrisburg

Monroeville Mall, Monroeville

Montgomery Mall, North Wales

Oxford Valley Mall, Langhorne

South Hills Village Mall, Bethel Park

Virginia

Piedmont Mall, Danville