Retail

Bon-Ton Stores Will Close By August

After years of struggle with decreasing sales and mall traffic, Bon-Ton Stores is going out of business. All of the chain’s brick-and-mortar stores are scheduled to close by the end of August, Chain Store Age reported.

Bon-Ton going-out-of-business sales will commence today (April 20) across 212 brick-and-mortar stores and its websites. Though the retailer has 250 locations, 38 of those stores are already in liquidation. Still, Bon-Ton said its eCommerce and mobile platforms will continue to operate as its stores are liquidated.

The news comes as Bon-Ton said in February that it voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware and was exploring a sale, Fortune reported.

Before that announcement, Bon-Ton had said it would shutter 40 of its 260 brick-and-mortar stores across its various brands. The retailer said in a filing earlier this year that it might have to file for Chapter 11 if it could not reach a deal with creditors. With bankruptcy protection, Bon-Ton gained the ability to break its losses and close stores at a faster clip. To keep its operations going during the bankruptcy court process, the retailer said it had lined up $725 million in debtor-in-possession financing.

“During this court-supervised process, we plan to continue operating in the normal course and executing on our key initiatives to drive improved performance,” Bon-Ton CEO Bill Tracy had said. The company was also exploring a possible sale and was considering dividing itself into smaller units.

Bon-Ton, a Milwaukee-based retailer, includes its eponymous stores in addition to Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers. It was challenged by selling a similar assortment of merchandise as its rivals and struggled adapting to eCommerce.

The retailer’s bankruptcy comes on the heels of news that several big-box chains sought bankruptcy in 2017, including Toys R Us. In September, the toy retailer also filed for Chapter 11 protection and hoped to begin a restructuring process that would allow a revamp to its long-term debt — nearly $5 billion.

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