Bon-Ton Stores Likely Headed Toward Liquidation

US department store chain Bon-Ton heads to liquidation: sources

US department store chain Bon-Ton heads to liquidation: sources

It appears that Bon-Ton Stores Inc., the parent company of Boston Store that has its corporate offices in Milwaukee and York, Pennsylvania, will go out of business, because the only bidders competing at the Monday start of its court-supervised bankruptcy auction were liquidators, according to sources speaking to Reuters.

The end could be near for Bon-Ton.

According to reports, that bid was not successful.

The auction still had not ended by late Monday, Reuters reported.

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

Shoppers make their way past The Bon-Ton at the Wyoming Valley Mall, one of two stores the chain operates in Luzerne County.

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.

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. There is also a Younkers store in Duluth.

In a letter to the Nebraska Department of Labor, Bon-Ton said more than 350 jobs were at risk, although it only listed its two stores in Omaha as being at risk of closing.

Officials at Bon-Ton hoped the bankrupt company would be saved by a last-minute joint bid by several mall owners last week, including Southern Hills Mall owner Washington Prime Group.

If Bon-Ton is shuttered, it would be a major blow to its employees and to retail centers around the state.

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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