Two to three Boston Stores could open in area by the holiday season

CSC Generation Holdings looking at previous locations first

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CSC Generation Holdings Inc., the Merrillville, Indiana-based company that relaunched the websites for The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.’s store brands last weekend is planning to open two to three brick-and-mortar stores in the Milwaukee area by the holiday season.

The former Boston Store Furniture Gallery in Brookfield is one of the possible sites where CSC could open a Boston Store.

The stores, which will carry the Boston Store brand, will be between 10,000 and 100,000 square feet, averaging 50,000 to 60,000 square feet, said Fred Hulls, spokesman for CSC Generation.

“We are looking at previous locations first, but would still consider new locations too,” Hulls said. “We have not signed leases yet.”

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Hulls told BizTimes media partner WISN 12 Monday one of the locations that the company is looking to open a store is the “Brookfield area.”

“Ahead of the holidays we’re looking at two stores in the Milwaukee metro area as well as one in the Brookfield area,” he said.

Before closing 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.

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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 downtown Milwaukee and Regency Mall in Racine. A Boston Store Clearance Center was also located on 27th Street in Milwaukee.

Hulls would not comment on specific locations, but said all options are on the table.

Cory Sovine, with Colliers International, said from a logistical standpoint, in order to open by the holidays, the only thing thing that makes sense is for Bon-Ton is to go into a previous Boston Store space.

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“They couldn’t acquire, design, permit and build out a space between now and mid-October,” Sovine said.
“If they’re not open by then, there is no point in opening at all this season. So (if they don’t move into a previous Boston Store space), likely they would go in as a pop-up or seasonal tenant for the year until they figure something else out.”

The new stores will be open Thursday through Sunday, Hulls said.

CSC is recruiting “hundreds” of people to work at the Bon-Ton locations and previous employees are encouraged to apply.

CSC Generation Holdings is a technology company that owns e-commerce sites DirectBuy, Killion, leaseco and DirectBuy Leasing. The company purchased Bon-Ton’s intellectual property assets earlier this month for $900,000.

Those assets include all registered trademarks, all domain names and domain name registrations, all customer data and databases, which includes 24.5 million unique customer records, 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.

In a message to online shoppers, Jordan Voloshin, the new president of Bon-Ton, said CSC Generation acquired Bon-Ton for three reasons: the love of customers, a competent and loyal workforce and the opportunity to rebuild an American icon.

Bon-Ton filed for bankruptcy in February. A joint venture among Los Angeles-based Great American Group, New York-based Tiger Capital Group and a group of Bon-Ton debtholders bought The Bon-Ton Stores out of bankruptcy in April, and then began to liquidate the company.

Prior to filing for bankruptcy, Bon-Ton had not been profitable since 2010. In the months leading up to the filing, the company reported having $1.74 billion in debts and $1.59 billion in assets. Bon-Ton also reported millions in outstanding trade debts to suppliers.

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