Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

U.S. department store chain Bon-Ton heads to liquidation

U.S. department store chain Bon-Ton heads to liquidation

Earlier this month, Bon-Ton sent notices to several states warning of potential job losses from store closures if it was forced to liquidate.

Bon-Ton, founded in 1898, operates 260 stores in 24 states and had been hoping to sell to US mall owners Namdar Realty Group and Washington Prime Group to secure a bid that would have kept many of its locations open, Reuters reported.

As of late Monday, the auction had not concluded, according to four sources who spoke to Reuters. Saks sold the chain to Bon-Ton in 2006.

Younkers has had a store at Gateway since 1987, when it bought Omaha-based Brandeis.

Bon-Ton has stores in the Eastern Hills Mall, McKinley Mall, Chautauqua Mall, Olean Center Mall and the former Summit Mall, as well as in West Seneca, the Town of Tonawanda and Lockport.

A Bon-Ton spokesperson was not immediately available for comment on the auction.

Other stores operated by Bon-Ton are under the Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Carson's, Elder- Beerman and Herberger's names, but most of its stores have histories that predate the parent company.

Once the company selects a winning bidder and the proposed deal is approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Reuters says the liquidator can begin selling the inventory, store leases, fixtures and intellectual property.

Another report, from Reorg Research, said that only two qualified bids for substantially all of Bon-Ton's assets, both of which are liquidation bids, are going forward in the auction: the joint credit bid submitted by an ad hoc group of second lien noteholders and Great American (an affiliate of second lien noteholder B. Riley Financial), and a bid submitted by the Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Retail Partners joint venture.

After more than seven decades of being in Sioux City, it appears Younkers department store will likely close its doors for good this summer.

Sports Authority Holdings Inc, apparel chain The Limited Stores LLC and electronics seller hhgregg Inc are among the chains that have gone out of business recently.

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