Only bids moving forward for Bon-Ton are for liquidation

Katie Ramirez
April 18, 2018

More than $1 million was spent on fixtures for Younkers' Southbridge Mall store, which employed 70 people in 59 departments when it opened.

Eastland Mall anchor Bergner's appears to be headed for closure after only liquidators bid on parent company Bon-Ton on Monday.

Earlier this month, Bon-Ton notified state officials that it planned to begin layoffs at the Younkers store at the Empire Mall in Sioux Falls in June.

A portion of the winning bid came in the form of a credit bid, or when a creditor uses some of what they are owed instead of cash, sources told Reuters.

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"We are certainly disappointed with the outcome, but this is an opportunity to continue to evolve our properties through transformative anchor redevelopments", said Stacey Keating, director of public relations and corporate communications for CBL Properties, owner of East Towne, West Towne, Janesville Mall and Brookfield Square.

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. A spokesperson for Bon-Ton did not immediately respond to a request for comment, Reuters said. That announcement also included eight other stores around the state, including the Elder-Beerman in Beloit. Target, which left the mall after building a standalone store in the nearby Sunnybrook Plaza, was replaced by JCPenney, which previously had a store downtown.

Without a buyer interested in keeping the Bon-Ton name alive, the chain is likely to go out of business.

Younkers, which began as a family-run dry goods business in Keokuk, has been an Iowa retailer since 1856.

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