How I Succeeded in Retirement and the Biway Story

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BPS Books, 2012 - Businessmen - 440 pages

The story of Mal Coven the family man, the businessman, and the entrepreneur for whom retirement from the Biway has meant pursuing original entrepreneurial ideas — as well as brushing up against and corresponding with celebrities Barbara Walters, Larry King, Nancy Sinatra, Jackie Mason, Bud Selig, Mort Zuckerman, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., and others.

Coven reveals the secrets behind his and Abe Fish's founding and development of the Biway, a hugely successful discount chain that predated the coming of Wal-Mart to Canada. During their 28-year tenure, the Biway grew to 249 stores across eight provinces, delivering quality merchandise at low markups and low prices never before seen in a chain store in the country.

Interwoven throughout are stories of the author's many passions, including breakfasts with -the Knights of the Round Bagel, - following the Toronto Blue Jays, and cultivating his taste for smoked meat, hot dogs, and other fun foods.

-Mal Coven is 'The Determinator' — a man who achieves what he seeks and succeeds at what he does. He's a winner in business and life.-
—PAUL V. GODFREY, President and CEO, Postmedia Network

-Coven is a great storyteller. Read this book for fun and knowledge about retailing. It can't miss -
—LEONARD SIMPSON, Chairman, Town Shoes Limited

Mal Coven, the son of Jewish immigrants from the Russian empire, grew up in Mattapan, a working-class neighbourhood of Boston. His education in business began with his father, a custom peddler who walked door to door and floor to floor, selling merchandise and extending credit to fellow immigrants in Boston. He is a graduate of the renowned Boston Latin School and Boston College. Coven went from stock boy to boys' buyer at Filene's, -The World's Largest Specialty Store, - in Boston. In 1961, he got really lucky when his brother-in-law Abe Fish in Toronto invited him to become a partner in two stores that were to lead to the successful Biway discount chain. He lives in Toronto.

 

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Contents

Life with My Parents
9
My First School Days
21
Boston Latin School
28
Boston College
39
Part Two LEARNING MY CHOPS
47
Selling Snowsuits in July
55
The Convertible and the Blonde
61
Things Changed
71
21
275
Paul Godfrey and Mort Zuckerman
278
Jackie Mason and the Corky Award
281
24
288
Al Greens 75th Birthday
319
The Knights of the Round Bagel
323
The Toronto Blue Jays
335
28
351

A New Partnership
79
Expanding Biway
87
How We Did
93
A Neighbourhood Store
109
Meanwhile Life
129
What Customers Remember
145
Introduction
165
Earlier Original Projects
183
Projects with Companies
230
Part Five HAVING
273
The New York Times
355
My 80th Birthday Party
365
Part Six AND IN CONCLUSION
373
Entrepreneurial Tips For Teens
375
Unusual Correspondence
377
Epilogue
413
Acknowledgments
415
Index
417
39
418
Copyright

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