Bon-Ton Bankruptcy Auction Begins

Iowa Younkers Stores to Close Parent Company Headed for Liquidation	 	 	 			Younkers

"The holdup is the mall is going under", Kohan said, noting Bon-Ton's bankruptcy.

Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.is likely going out of business, according to a report by Reuters. The only two bidders for the company were liquidation firms, according to the report.

Money raised from the auction will be used to repay what is owed to Bon-Ton's creditors.

Bon-Ton spokeswoman Christine Hojnacki told the Cedar Rapids Gazette the "notices are just of potential closures" and that if stores were to close, a closure date has not been set.

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.

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The last two area Younkers stores will close in June, it was reported on Tuesday. A Bon-Ton vacancy at McKinley Mall would put it at serious risk of financial failure, real estate analysts have said, and Bon-Ton stores fill prominent anchor space at several local retail plazas.

Brick and mortar retailers have faced growing pressure from internet sales and discount retailers like Walmart and Target.

In addition to Younkers stores at Gateway Mall in Lincoln and in Grand Island, Bon-Ton also has Herberger's locations in Hastings, Kearney, Norfolk, North Platte and Scottsbluff.

Bon-Ton and Toys R Us operated a combined almost 60 million square feet (5.6 million square meters) of store space, according to their latest annual reports, and employed a combined 83,000 when they entered bankruptcy.

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

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