Ribbon cut at new Boscov’s

ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio – The new Boscov’s department store at the Ohio Valley Mall took in more than $1 million during three days of pre-opening events this week, company chairman and chief executive officer Albert Boscov announced Sunday.

The official ribbon cutting for Boscov’s took place Sunday morning, and Boscov said it was especially important to his company that many of those who visited Thursday – day one – returned again Friday and Saturday. And many of those attending the ribbon cutting Sunday said they had already been to the store at least once.

“We like St. Clairsville – it’s great to rehearse here,” Boscov said. “We made $1 million during our first three days. Now we’re ready to open.”

Maddie McDevitt of Wheeling stood outside waiting for the doors to open Sunday, and she said she already had been shopping each of the past three days. Her first purchase Thursday was homemade fudge from the candy counter.

“It’s beautiful inside,” McDevitt said. “It’s the best thing that’s happened to the mall in years, and it’s about time. It’s been in sad shape since the other one left.”

Boscov’s occupies an anchor space that is a former home to J.C. Penney, which opened a retail operation at The Highlands.

Nancy Toto of Belmont, Ohio, said her first purchase Thursday was a red shrug. She returned both Friday and Saturday, was present Sunday for the ribbon cutting, and planned to return with friends later in the day for a performance by singer/actress Shirley Jones in Boscov’s community auditorium.

“Whatever is going on, I want to be a part of it,” she said. “Maybe I’ll come every day.”

Boscov said the new Boscov’s employs 350 local workers, and he credited them for getting the store ready to open in far shorter time than is the norm.

“Most stores make sure they take many, many weeks – months – to open,” Boscov said. “Our workers here had the store opened in three weeks. That tells you something about the quality of the workers here.”

Mild and sunny October weather gave Boscov’s the perfect setting to hold its ribbon-cutting ceremony outside and in front of its main entrance. The St. Clairsville High School Band provided entertainment, and local officials were brought to the podium in a parade of classic cars.

The antique vehicles also brought to the front Jones and Anthony Cafaro, president of the Cafaro Co., which owns the mall.

The first of two ribbons cut had $100 bills placed on it, and those doing the honors represented agencies affiliated with the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley. Boscov’s raised money for the United Way during a pre-opening invitation event.

Boscov and Jones cut the second ribbon, signifying the official opening.

“I think Boscov’s will change the whole dynamic of the mall,” said George Diab, the mall property manager. “The first three days are an indication of what this is going to be. We’ve seen more traffic in the mall over the past three days than we have for quite some time.”