Bon-Ton Heads to Liquidation

Younkers stores could shutter across Iowa as part of bankruptcy

Younkers stores could shutter across Iowa as part of bankruptcy

After more than seven decades of being in Sioux City, it appears Younkers department store will likely close its doors for good this summer. Bon-Ton also has Younkers stores in Eau Claire, Marshfield and Green Bay.

If Bon-Ton is shuttered, it would be a major blow to its employees and to retail centers around the state.

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 Southern Hills Mall owner Washington Prime Group. The Pennsylvania-based Bon Ton attempted to auction off its assets this week, but the only bidders were two companies that specialize in liquidating failed businesses. The deal, however, included a number of contingencies and required Bon-Ton to seek court approval for the company to pay a $500,000 work fee as the parties sought to finalize a purchase agreement.

A Bon-Ton spokesperson could not be reached for comment at press time.

The Younkers brothers opened their first store - a general store in Keokuk - in 1862.

According to reports, that bid was not successful.

Seritage Growth Properties, which bought the 18-acre Sears property from CBL in 2015, has spent $17 million to redevelop that part of the mall and has added a 31,000-square-foot Dave & Buster's and a 23,146-square-foot Total Wine & More store, both of which opened last week.

It's unclear how soon the Bon-Ton stores could close. Toys "R" Us announced in March that it was going out of business, although a toy mogul has launched a bid to try to buy 275 of the chain's more than 700 USA locations.

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