Bon-Ton Chain Appears Likely to Liquidate, Report Says

Bon-Ton Chain Appears Likely to Liquidate, Report Says

Bon-Ton filed for bankruptcy February 4 and had been searching for a buyer that would allow it to stay in business.

The end could be near for Bon-Ton Stores. Liquidation firms get what they can for a company's assets before shutting it down. Now the company is facing the possibility its stores will close.

Milwaukee, Wis. -based Bon-Ton Boston Store is going through bankruptcy proceedings, though the hope was that the company would survive.

"We are certainly disappointed with the outcome, but this is an opportunity to continue to evolve our properties through transformative anchor redevelopments", said Stacey Keating, director of public relations and corporate communications for CBL properties, owner of East Towne, West Towne, Janesville Mall and Brookfield Square.

Earlier this month, Bon-Ton sent notices to several states warning of potential job losses from store closures if it was forced to liquidate. Reports said that Bon-Ton was a major anchor tenant in the investor group's malls and they anxious that a mass liquidation at Bon-Ton would hurt the value of their properties.

Bon-Ton Stores has 260 locations in 24 states, including furniture galleries and clearance centers.

Two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that the only bidders who competed at the court-supervised auction on Monday were liquidators. Once a winning bidder is selected in the auction, the proposed deal would have to be approved by a federal bankruptcy court in Delaware.

Brick and mortar retailers have faced growing pressure from internet sales and discount retailers like Walmart and Target.

Bon-Ton and Toys R Us operated a combined almost 60 million square feet (5.6 million square meters) of store space, according to their latest annual reports, and employed a combined 83,000 when they entered bankruptcy. Its 200 stores anchor many mall across the USA under a variety of brand names.

The announcement that Younkers will close is the second blow to Lindale Mall in less than a week.

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