The retail graveyard is getting another headstone.
The Bon-Ton Stores has now officially confirmed what has been obvious—the 250-store, 160-year-old department store chain is closing its doors.
The company’s April 16 bankruptcy auction for its assets was won by two liquidators, Great American Group and Tiger Capital Group, with support from some of the company’s second-lien bondholders. That purchase received court approval today. The sale reportedly received no “going concern” bids.
In a statement, Bon-Ton president and chief executive officer Bill Tracy, who was appointed last year, said he was “disappointed by this outcome.”
“[We] tried very hard to identify bidders interested in operating the business as a going concern,” he said. “We are committed to working constructively with the winning bidder to ensure an orderly wind-down of operations that minimizes the impact of this development on our associates, customers, vendors and the communities we serve. We are incredibly grateful to all of our associates for their dedicated service to Bon-Ton and to our millions of loyal customers who we have had the pleasure to serve as their hometown store for more than 160 years.”
As many as 23,000 jobs will be effected by the closings.
All the Bon-Ton nameplates—including Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s, and Younkers—will remain open throughout the store-closing sales.
The retailer, which specializes in apparel, accessories, and jewelry, first filed for Chapter 11 on Feb. 4.
Ironically, earlier this month, it looked like the chain would buck the odds and survive. Two retail landlords—Namdar Realty Group and Washington Prime Group—offered to buy the company as a going concern, hoping to preserve the value of their malls where Bon-Ton was an anchor tenant.
However, last week, Judge Mary Walrath put the kibosh on that plan when she denied the investor group a $500,000 bid-protection payment.
(Image courtesy of Bon-Ton)