Boscov’s opens as Westfield Meriden anchor Thursday

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MERIDEN - A popular Pennsylvania-based department store chain is opening its first Connecticut store Thursday and the timing could not be better for Westfield Meriden mall.

Boscov’s Department Store, with 43 stores in six other states, now occupies the anchor spot left vacant in May 2014 by JC Penney.

“The people (Connecticut residents) are similar to the people that we serve elsewhere and income levels are very similar to the people that we serve elsewhere,” said store owner Albert Boscov, whose family opened its first store 101 years ago.

Boskov, who has worked in the business for 80 years, said Westfield Meriden shoppers will enjoy a unique retail experience that combines fun, fashion and service with incredible values and, most importantly, honest pricing.

“Something that is marked in some stores to sell for $60 was never meant to sell for $60,” said Boscov. “Maybe it was meant to sell for $39. So, that would be 20 or 25 percent off. So, we'll come in and be at $39, not $60.”

Boscov's has hired over 300 people to man its new Meriden store. As many as 1,800 applied.

“There are an awful lot of good people, unfortunately, in Connecticut, that don't have jobs at this point,” said Boscov.

Though there is momentum in Meriden.

“Right now, there is close to $200 million in private investment that's happening in Meriden, which is, for most communities, still a very big number,” said Sean Moore, president of the Midstate Chamber of Commerce.

As part of Boscov’s grand opening, performing in the store’s large community room, will be singer and actress Shirley Jones. She'll be performing twice a day, for a week, beginning Saturday, and her shows are free.

“We certainly want people to come in with great expectations and we know we’re going to live up to them,” said Boscov.

Boscov’s will open Thursday for a Gala Preview for a Great Cause to help over 120 area charities raise funds for their organizations. Customers will receive a free heat-resistant silicone double oven glove valued at $19.99, and enjoy refreshments, entertainment and be the first to shop Boscov’s. If you have not purchased a ticket from your favorite participating non-profit, tickets will be available at the door for a $5 donation.