Boscov's, the $1 billion regional department store chain, has joined the NATM Buying Corp., becoming the group's 10th member.
The full-line retailer, with 38 stores in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, is the largest privately-owned independent department store in the country. It is also believed to be the first traditional department store to join the white and brown goods buying group.
Unlike most within the department store channel, which abandoned major appliances and consumer electronics in the face of specialty store competition, Boscov's has remained committed to those categories and maintains full CE and majap departments. Moreover, the retailer also currently supports all of NATM's core supplier lines, the group said.
According to a Boscov's statement, the company has "experienced dramatic growth in major appliances and electronics, while achieving significant market share." The chain ranked 67th on the TWICE CE Retail Registry with some $90 million in electronics sales in 2001, and placed 52nd on the TWICE Major Appliance Retail Registry with about $15 million in majap volume.
In a statement, NATM said the chain joined April 1 and "believes it can assist Boscov's in their commitment to grow the appliance and electronics categories within their stores, and help them compete and gain market share in markets they do business." NATM operations director Ernie Olson said the group's directors approved Boscov's membership during this month's spring conference in San Antonio.
The addition of Boscov's, plus the recent return of Queen City TV and Video Only, has helped restore the group's dealer ranks following the quick-succession departures of four members since September, including Abt Electronics, which resigned earlier this month over program issues. (See TWICE, March 24, p. 4.)
Boscov's was founded in 1911 as a corner store in Reading, Pa., by the Russian immigrant father of current chairman Albert Boscov.