Hints Indicate Boscov’s as New Eastwood Tenant

NILES, Ohio – The public will learn Monday morning the identity of the Eastwood Mall’s new tenant for the former Sears department store space.

Speculation leading up to the announcement, scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at the mall’s Center Court, has focused on Boscov’s, a family-owned department store chain founded in 1914 in Reading, Pa. 

Officials from neither Boscov’s nor the Cafaro Co., the Niles-based shopping center developer that operates Eastwood, would confirm Boscov’s as the tenant for the Sears space. On Friday afternoon, WFMJ reported a representative from the company said it would open a store in Niles, but did not specify if it would be in the Eastwood Mall.

On Thursday, a post on Boscov’s Facebook page teased that the company had “some BIG news” to share Monday, the same day Eastwood scheduled its announcement, and promised further clues. 

Esta Neugroschel, Boscov’s director of public relations, said she had no comment when contacted Friday.  

“How coincidental,” Joe Bell, director of corporate communications for the Cafaro Co., acknowledged in response to a reporter’s inquiry. 

Eastwood’s new tenant is “very big on keeping all the details very close to the vest until the time we reveal it,” he said. 

“What I can tell you is this is a retail concern that has not been in the Youngstown-Warren market,” he continued. “It has a presence in other places and it’s been in business for over 100 years.” 

A subsequent post Friday showed an image of an early cash register with the caption, “Any guesses as to what this machine is and the history behind it?” The cash register was invented in Dayton, potentially indicating an Ohio announcement.

According to its website, Boscov’s has 48 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Ohio and Rhode Island. Its sole Ohio store is in the Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville, which also is operated by Cafaro. 

The new tenant will be “the biggest single retailer the mall’s ever had,” Bell said. It will occupy 182,000 square feet of space, which includes the 120,000-square-foot space that Sears occupied plus additional space being made available by relocating existing tenants.  

“The buzz has been incredible,” he acknowledged. Since early December, he reported he has been waylaid by mall walkers who offer their speculations as to the identity of the tenant. 

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.