Published: Wed, April 18, 2018

Only bids moving forward for Bon-Ton are for liquidation

Only bids moving forward for Bon-Ton are for liquidation

Bon-Ton spokeswoman Christine Hojnacki told the Cedar Rapids Gazette the "notices are just of potential closures" and that if stores were to close, a closure date has not been set. The chain hasn't turned a profit since 2010.

But U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath said last week she would not approve that payment, noting Bon-Ton was not paying the fees of any other bidders and that the offer from the investor group did not amount to a qualified bid.

There are also six Herberger's stores in the Twin Cities as well as ones in Mankato and St. Cloud.

The effect of a Bon-Ton closure at Eastern Hills Mall would likely have less impact.

Bon-Ton is one of just roughly 20 stores remaining at the struggling Olean Center Mall. On Thursday it was announced that the mall's Sears will close.

Losing Younkers will be a major blow to Southbridge Mall, where the retailer has operated as a 50,000-square foot anchor tenant for more than three decades. If anything were to happen to any of those locations, it would leave voids in those retail strips. Its business strategy was to place stores in communities that lacked a variety of fashion options, but online shopping made physical stores unnecessary, allowing consumers to bypass Bon-Ton for new options online.

The failure of the company, with headquarters in York, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee, comes weeks after Toys R Us began a piecemeal liquidation of its namesake stores and Babies R Us, the latest sign of upheaval in the retail industry.

The locations closing aside from the Westdale Mall location include the Lindale Mall location in Cedar Rapids, as well as stores in Coralville, Des Moines, Dubuque, Mason City, Sioux City, and West Des Moines.

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