Younkers stores could shutter across Iowa as part of bankruptcy

17 April, 2018, 21:51 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Report Only auction bidders for Bon Ton Stores Inc. are liquidators	 	 	 			Boston Store

Bon-Ton had been working with a group of investors including two mall developers on a going-concern bid. Bon-Ton is a major tenant of both landlords and its survival would have helped protect the value of their malls.

One of the two bids is a joint effort from Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Retail Partners, which is the same group running a store liquidation for Toys R Us.

A spokesperson for Bon-Ton did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bon-Ton filed for bankruptcy February 4 and had been searching for a buyer that would allow it to stay in business.

As of late Monday, the auction had not concluded, according to four sources.

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.

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If Reuters' report proves true, it would make Bon-Ton the first department store in years to liquidate.

If a liquidator wins the bidding, and the deal is approved by the court, it will likely begin selling inventory, store leases, fixtures and intellectual property, Reuters said.

Younkers was founded in Keokuk, Iowa in 1856 and opened its flagship store in Des Moines in 1874.

Bon-Ton stores have been under increased pressure lately as more sales shift from brick-and-mortar stores to online retailers like Amazon. Bon-Ton is the parent company for a 260-store chain of retailers in 24 states, including Carson's, Younkers, Elder-Beerman, Bergner's, Boston Store, and Herberger's, as well as the Bon-Ton.

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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