A new anchor store will be coming to the Ohio Valley Mall, occupying the site of the former JC Penney's store and most recently Levin's Furniture, and with it 300 jobs to the area.
The store is Boscov's. Although mall officials were tight-lipped about it, the word has actually been out for a long time. They say this unique department store will open in mid to late October, just ahead of Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
Boscov's will be bigger than any other store in the Ohio Valley Mall, with 180,000 square feet and 300 employees. Chairman of the Board Al Boscov says it is what department stores "used" to be, a "true" department store.
"Many department stores now are really mostly ready-to-wear, but we have the world's best candy department, wait till you try it," Boscov said. "And we have everything from Oriental rugs to furniture to things you don't expect to see in a department store any more.
"They will be bringing with them a great selection from apparel to home furnishings to electronics," said Co-President of the Cafaro Company, which owns OVM, Anthony Cafaro.
Their philosophy is different. They believe we shop for fun, rather than out of need. In Al Boscov's words, retail is really recreation.
"You know, everyone's closet's almost full. And we try to make retailing fun," he said.
Belmont County Commission President Ginny Favede is pleased, as a public official and as a consumer.
"Some of you may actually remember that it was temporarily located at the South Hills Mall in South Hills, Pennsylvania, and I personally was a shopper there," Favede said.
This announcement was shrouded in secrecy, but word had leaked out. People who never heard of Boscov's knew it was coming to the mall.
"It's probably been one of the worst-kept secrets I think, uh, but we've been working diligently for going on several years," Cafaro said.
Al Boscov says he looked at the mall once, several years ago, but then he looked again recently, after the renovation, and he said this is the place for Boscov's.