Skip to main content

Discounting pioneer dies at 91


New York -- Eugene Ferkauf, founder of the E.J. Korvette chain, died Tuesday at the age of 91, said Yeshiva University, where he was a longtime former trustee and benefactor, the New York Times reported.

"He was a brilliant entrepreneur, innovator and pioneer of the discounting concept," said Burt Flickinger, III, managing director of the retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group, in the report.

Ferkauf founded Korvette in 1948, initially selling luggage from a loft on 46th Street before expanding into other merchandise categories and to 45 outlets throughout the New York metro area. He offered deep discounts of up to 40% on merchandise.

Ferkauf was featured on the cover of Time magazine in 1962 with the title: "Discounting Gets Respectable." He sold his share in the company in 1966 for more than $20 million. Korvette went out of business in around 1980.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds