Bon-Ton reveals list of 42 store closures

Only Milwaukee-area store closing is Boston Store Clearance Center on South 27th Street

Bon-Ton will liquidate.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:53 pm

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. released its list Wednesday of the 42 stores that will be closed as the struggling retailer moves forward with a turnaround plan in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy.

Stores in 13 states will close beginning tomorrow, including nine in Wisconsin. The only Milwaukee-area store that is slated for closure at this time is the Boston Store Clearance Center that opened in April 2013 at 5659 S. 27th St. in the city of Milwaukee.

Stores at Southridge Mall in Greendale, Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa, Bayshore Mall in Glendale, Brookfield Square in Brookfield and Regency Mall in Racine were all spared. So was the smaller taxpayer-subsidized Boston Store at the Shops of Grand Avenue in downtown Milwaukee, which was recently downsized to make space for more office.

“As part of the comprehensive turnaround plan we announced in November, we are taking the next steps in our efforts to move forward with a more productive store footprint,” said Bill Tracy, president and chief executive officer for The Bon-Ton Stores, the parent company of Boston Store. “Including other recently announced store closures, we expect to close a total of 47 stores in early 2018. We remain focused on executing our key initiatives to drive improved performance in an effort to strengthen our capital structure to support the business going forward.”

Other Wisconsin stores closing include:

  • Younkers, Fox River Mall, Appleton
  • Boston Store, Heritage Village, Beaver Dam
  • Elder-Beerman, Eclipse Center, Beloit
  • Younkers, Forrest Mall, Fond Du Lac
  • Younkers, Lakeshore Edgewater Plaza, Manitowoc
  • Younkers, Pine Tree Mall, Marinette
  • Younkers, Mariner Mall, Superior
  • Younkers, Wausau Center Mall, Wausau

Bon-Ton has partnered with a third-party liquidator, Hilco Merchant Resources, to help manage the store closing sales. The store closing sales are scheduled to begin Feb. 1 and run for approximately 10 to 12 weeks. Employees will be offered the opportunity to interview for available positions at other store locations.

The closing locations announced are in addition to five other recently announced store closures, four of which the company completed at the end of January and one at which the company will conclude its closing sale in February.

On Monday, Bon-Ton, which has dual headquarters in Milwaukee and York, Pennsylvania, asked debt holders to approve a three-year restructuring plan that includes closing the stores but also investing in existing stores and improving online sales, which make up only 12 percent of the business.

The Bon-Ton Stores, which has more than $1 billion in debt, failed to make a December loan payment to lenders of $14 million and is running out of options.

Bon-Ton hired PJT Partners and AlixPartners last year to help advise it on a turnaround plan.

The retailer currently operates 260 department stores in 24 states under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers brands.

On Wednesday afternoon Bon-Ton’s stock was trading at 15 cents.

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