Younkers, Herberger's likely headed toward liquidation


Bon-Ton is set to wind down after a bankruptcy auction for its assets drew only liquidation bids, according to Reuters, which cited unnamed sources.

Bon-Ton has not yet responded to the reports.

Bon-Ton, founded in 1898, operates 260 stores in 24 states and had been hoping to sell to USA mall owners Namdar Realty Group and Washington Prime Group to secure a bid that would have kept many of its locations open, Reuters reported. An auction took place on Monday looking for bidders.

But when the bidding opened, reports indicate the only firms offering bids were liquidators.

After more than seven decades of being in Sioux City, it appears Younkers department store will likely close its doors for good this summer. The department store chain was sold first to Equitable of Iowa in 1978 and then to Saks 1996.

The Bon-Ton has 260 stores in 24 states, including eight in Western New York: at the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood, Eastern Hills Mall in Clarence, South Transit Road in Lockport, McKinley Mall in Blasdell, Olean Center Mall, Sheridan Drive in the Town of Tonawanda, Southgate Plaza in West Seneca, and the former Summit Park Mall in Wheatfield.

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As the Business Journal pointed out, Reuters has reported that only liquidators have bid and that Bon-Ton will go out of business.

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

Bon-Ton filed for bankruptcy in February and is in the process of closing 47 stores.

But U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath said last week she would not approve that payment, noting Bon-Ton was not paying the fees of any other bidders and that the offer from the investor group did not amount to a qualified bid.

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.