Boston Store makes comeback under new owner

NOW

Boston Store, an iconic Milwaukee-area department store chain, appeared to be gone for good when liquidation of its parent company, The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., was completed this summer.

All of Bon-Ton’s stores, including the area Boston Store locations, were closed at the end of August following going out of business sales.

After the completion of the liquidation, Merrillville, Indiana-based CSC Generation Holdings Inc. purchased most of Bon-Ton’s intellectual property assets for $900,000. Those assets include all registered trademarks, all website domain names and domain name registrations, all customer data and databases, the StyleRewards and LoveStyleRewards programs, material operations and management analysis reports, private label brands IP, Google Analytics account, product catalog, social media accounts, and gift card and merchandise card data.

A few days later, CSC relaunched all of the Bon-Ton store brand websites, including bostonstore.com, with a banner message that said “We’re Back & we’re here to stay!” Consumers can once again shop at Boston Store and the other Bon-Ton store brands, but only online for now.

“We’re still offering the (Boston Store) brands that people love at the prices that people are used to,” said Fred Hulls, a spokesman for CSC Generation. “We will be introducing new brands and lines.”

The Bon-Ton websites also offer lease-to-own options for consumers.

CSC Generation Holdings is a technology company that owns e-commerce sites DirectBuy, Killion, leaseco and DirectBuy Leasing.

But the company also plans to open some brick-and-mortar stores for the Bon-Ton store brands. Hulls said the company plans to open two to three brick-and-mortar Boston Store locations in the Milwaukee area, and in an interview with BizTimes media partner WISN-TV Channel 12, he indicated one of the locations would be in the “Brookfield area.”

The stores will be between 10,000 and 100,000 square feet, averaging 50,000 to 60,000 square feet, Hulls said.

“We are looking at previous (Boston Store) locations first, but would still consider new locations, too,” he said.

In Brookfield, before all of its stores closed at the end of August, Boston Store occupied 215,450 square feet at Brookfield Square Mall. Bon-Ton also operated the 55,000-square-foot Boston Store Furniture Gallery at 18615 W. Bluemound Road in Brookfield.

Bon-Ton also had Boston Store locations at Southridge Mall in Greendale, Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa, Bayshore Town Center in Glendale, The Shops of Grand Avenue in Milwaukee and Regency Mall in Racine. A Boston Store Clearance Center was also located on South 27th Street in Milwaukee.

Hulls would not comment on specific future locations.

CSC wants to have the relaunched Boston Store locations in the area open by the holiday shopping season, Hulls said.

“We’re really focused on recruiting previous Boston Store employees, as well as on-boarding brands,” Hulls said. “So if you were an employee of the Boston Store or a brand that previously worked with us, feel free to get in touch through the website.”

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