Bon-Ton may close all Herbergers, Younkers stores

Bon-Ton had been working with a group of investors including two mall developers on a going-concern bid.

The Bon-Ton's parent company, which has corporate offices in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, operates more than 250 stores under several nameplates. The letter said stores could close in June. In addition to Younkers, Bon Ton also owns five other department store chains: Herberger's, Bergner's, Elder Beerman, Boston Store and Carson's.

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. Reports said that Bon-Ton was a major anchor tenant in the investor group's malls and they anxious that a mass liquidation at Bon-Ton would hurt the value of their properties.

In September 1944, Younkers opened a location at Second and South Federal in Mason City, the second Younkers branch store in the state.

According to reports, that bid was not successful.

The only bidders at the department store chain's court-supervised auction on April 16 were liquidators, the news agency reported, quoting sources familiar with the matter.

Online shopping, which has affected all brick-and-mortar retailers by reducing mall traffic, hit Bon-Ton particularly hard.

Bon-Ton and Toys R Us operated a combined almost 60 million square feet (5.6 million square meters) of store space, according to their latest annual reports, and employed a combined 83,000 when they entered bankruptcy.

Seritage Growth Properties, which bought the 18-acre Sears property from CBL in 2015, has spent $17 million to redevelop that part of the mall and has added a 31,000-square-foot Dave & Buster's and a 23,146-square-foot Total Wine & More store, both of which opened last week.

  • Joey Payne