Bon-Ton officially announces closures nationwide, liquidation begins

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Bon-Ton Stores Incorporated announced that the liquidation sales start Friday in 212 stores and websites under the Bon-Ton, Boston Store, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's, and Younkers names.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of DE approved an agreement between Bon-Ton and liquidator firms after a bankruptcy auction for the company. Great American Group and Tiger Capital Group purchased Younkers and other Bon-Ton Inc. stores through a bankruptcy sale this week.

Madison has Boston Stores at the East Towne and West Towne malls. Nonetheless, he said that the company will work in close coordination with the winning bidders and try to wind up the operations in a smooth manner. Bon-Ton officials had hoped to find a buyer who would keep most of its stores open, but the company's creditors said the chain had no chance of surviving and called for its immediate liquidation.

"Bon-Ton, with a significant geographic operating footprint and operating presence, is dependent on store traffic, which has decreased as customers shift increasingly toward online retailers", said the company. Macy's anniounced in January that it was closing its Terre Haute location. The Herberger's in Ottumwa is also closing.

Gateway Mall said Younkers has been at this location since 1987.

Bon-Ton supplied its own timeline Friday.

"Every five feet it was another hug and people saying how much they love the store and how sad they are".

Shane Etzwiler, the president of the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, says he believes losing Herberger's is going to hurt the Great Falls community.

Bon-Ton is not alone.

Just after 4 p.m. on Thursday, customers with Herbergers credit cards began to receive emails from the company telling them the cards would no longer be accepted as valid payment effective immediately. The same is happening at store closings at Toys 'R Us and Sears. Those stores are now in liquidation and will close within the next month.