Bon-Ton appears headed for liquidation

Bon-Ton appears headed for liquidation

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.

However, Reuters also reported that the auction was still in progress late Monday night.

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

Multiple media outlets - including the Des Moines Register and KCRG in Cedar Rapids - are reporting that the pending liquidation of Younkers will lead to the closure of a number of the company's department stores in Iowa.

The group signed a letter of intent to purchase Bon-Ton at the bankruptcy auction, outlining the terms of a deal that would have kept the current management team in place and the business operating.

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

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Reuters reports, the only bidders competing at the Monday start of its court-supervised auction were liquidators. Boston Store, for example, was founded in 1897, and Younkers in 1856.

Bon-Ton stores have been under increased pressure lately as more sales shift from brick-and-mortar stores to online retailers like Amazon.

Milwaukee, Wis. -based Bon-Ton Boston Store is going through bankruptcy proceedings, though the hope was that the company would survive.

If it does go out of business, it would be the second big-box chain to close Lincoln stores this year.

Bankrupt retailer Bon-Ton Stores Inc. might end up closing all its Herbergers, Younkers and other stores.

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