Bon-Ton announces locations of a further 42 store closures
The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. has listed the locations of 42 store closures, bringing the number of stores to be closed this year to a total of 47 as the troubled company tries to turns turn its fortunes around.
The announcement affects stores operating under all of the company’s nameplates, with twelve Bon-Ton stores, ten Carson’s locations and four Elder-Beermans all featuring on the list. Locations slated for closure include seven in Illinois, eight in Pennsylvania and nine in Wisconsin. Five other locations are in Indiana, including one at Indianapolis’ Circle Centre Mall. Staff at the closing locations will have the opportunity to interview for positions in other stores. Bon-Ton has partnered with a third-party liquidator, Hilco Merchant Resources, to help manage the stores’ closing sales, which are scheduled to start on February 1, 2018 and expected to run for ten to twelve weeks. In a release, President and CEO of The Bon-Ton Stores Bill Tracy stated, “As part of the comprehensive turnaround plan we announced in November, we are taking the next steps in our efforts to move forward with a more productive store footprint.” “We remain focused on executing our key initiatives to drive improved performance in an effort to strengthen our capital structure to support the business going forward,” he added. The latest 42-location list follows a previous announcement marking five stores for closure. Of these stores – located in Maryland, Michigan, Vermont, West Virginia and Massena, New York – four closures have already been completed, with the fifth’s closing sale expected to conclude in February. The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. operates in 24 states under the Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers nameplates, offering men’s, women’s and childrenswear and accessories, along with cosmetics and home furnishings. The widescale closures are part of the regional department store chain’s larger turnaround strategy seeking to get the company back on track. Along with many brick-and-mortar retailers, Bon-Ton has been struggling to keep up with rapidly evolving customer habits and strong competition from e-commerce. In August 2017, the company sought the help of turnaround advisers AlixPartners LLP and, in January of this year, was forced to establish forbearance agreements with its debt holders after failing to make $14 million worth of interest payments. Bon-Ton reported a third quarter net loss of $44.9 million in November of last year, with comps down 6.6% .