Services today for retail pioneer Ferkauf
June 7, 2012,
Before there was Wal-Mart, there was Korvette, a pile-it-high/sell-it-low discount chain rooted in America's burgeoning suburbs. Ironically, the first Korvette store opened in New York City in 1948, but Ferkauf soon realized opportunity lay outside of urban centers.
The chain ultimately grew to 58 units, but was already on the wane by the mid-1960s. Kerkauf retired in 1968. Not long after, the business was sold first to Arlen Realty and then to the the Agache-Willot Group of France. The company declared bankruptcy in 1980 and closed down.
Along with his wife, Estelle, he became a major benefactor to Yeshiva University in New York, which is home to the Eugene and Estelle Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology as well as the Ferkauf-Silverstein Chair in honor of their parents. The couple also established the Eugene and Estelle Ferkauf Foundation, which funds a many causes, including Jewish charities and health organizations, according to a biographical sketch by the university.
Ferkauf is survived by his wife, his sister, Lauretta Cruhlac; his daughters, Bobby Dor Kurzweil, Lenore Bronstein and Amy Shapira; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.