Bon-Ton Heads to Liquidation

Bon Ton owner of regional department stores like Herberger's and Younkers appears headed for liquidation. February 2018 file

Bon-Ton Heads to Liquidation

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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