Boscov’s Department Store LLC is making platform upgrades and search engine marketing its top e-commerce initiatives in 2006, says chairman and CEO Kenneth Lakin.
Boscov’s, No. 293 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, finished 2005 with web sales of about $20 million, an increase of 25% from e-commerce sales of $16 million in 2004. “E-commerce sales have been increasing at Boscov’s at a rate of 20% to 30% per year,” he says. “We expect that growth to continue.”
Boscov’s is one of the country’s oldest family-owned department store chains; it has annual sales of about $1.1 billion and 40 stores in malls in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and New York.
The multi-channel retailer, which has been selling online for almost a decade, uses an IBM WebSphere platform to power its e-commerce channel. In 2006 Lakin says Boscov’s will upgrade its IBM platform to handle faster order processing and fulfillment. Boscov’s also will be expanding its interactive marketing program to include more search engines and is looking into more drop shipping arrangements. “We continue to upgrade our platform, which is based on a version of WebSphere, for speed and ease of access,” Lakin says. “We also are expanding our merchandise content and experimenting with direct shipments from vendors.”
Boscovs.com receives about 815,000 unique visitors per month, according to comScore Networks Inc.