Bon-Ton Chain Appears Likely to Liquidate, Report Says

Younkers stores could shutter across Iowa as part of bankruptcy

Younkers stores could shutter across Iowa as part of bankruptcy

Bon-Ton had been working with an investor group that included US mall owners Namdar Realty Group and Washington Prime Group Inc.to secure a bid that would have kept Bon-Ton in business as a going concern.

Younkers was founded in Keokuk, Iowa in 1856 and opened its flagship store in Des Moines in 1874.

The Bon-Ton bankruptcy papers can be seen here.

As of late Monday, the auction had not concluded, according to four sources.

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

Bon-Ton operates 13 stores in Wisconsin and employs 2,255 people, including more than 700 at its headquarters in downtown Milwaukee.

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On Friday, Bon-Ton filed notice that it had selected the Hilco/Gordon Brothers bid as the baseline bid for the bankruptcy auction.

There are also six Herberger's stores in the Twin Cities as well as ones in Mankato and St. Cloud.

According to reports, that bid was not successful.

Without a buyer interested in keeping the Bon-Ton name alive, the chain is likely to go out of business. Toy's R Us, with a store at West Towne and a Babies'R Us near East Towne, is going out of business while the 111,000-square-foot Sear's store at West Towne has been downsized to 56,000-square-feet.

More than $1 million was spent on fixtures for Younkers' Southbridge Mall store, which employed 70 people in 59 departments when it opened. Its 200 stores anchor many mall across the USA under a variety of brand names. Get twice-daily updates on what the St. Louis business community is talking about.

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