Bon-Ton closing

Bon-Ton Liquidating All Stores; Malls on Edge

In What's New, Industry News by Lauren Parker, Accessories Magazine

Bon-Ton closing

A customers enter a The Bon Ton store, which is scheduled to close, in Concord, N.H. Rex/Shutterstock

Bon-Ton is the latest retail casualty. The multi-nameplate Pennsylvania- and Wisconson-based department store, which stood as a hometown retailer for 160 years, is liquidating its more than 200 stores.  Earlier this year, Bon-Ton announced it was closing 40 stores, but wasn’t able to secure financing for a restructure and ultimately stave off the inevitable.

Great American Group, LLC and Tiger Capital Group, LLC won the bid for assets and will acquire the inventory and certain other assets of the Company (subject to approval in Bankruptcy Court today).

Throughout the court-supervised asset sale process, e-commerce and mobile platforms (nameplates include Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers) will remain open throughout the store closing sales.

Bill Tracy, President and Chief Executive Officer, said in a statment: “While we are disappointed by this outcome and tried very hard to identify bidders interested in operating the business as a going concern, we are committed to working constructively with the winning bidder to ensure an orderly wind-down of operations that minimizes the impact of this development on our associates, customers, vendors and the communities we serve.”

Malls fear a ripple effect after losing an important anchor, not to mention possible co-leasing contingencies that could cause stiff renegotiation for remaining tenants.

“The question is, ‘Will this lead to other stores to close, and is it more indicative of a more serious problem at the mall?'” BTIG analyst James Sullivan told CNBC. “If that’s the case, you risk a particular mall failing.”

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