Mall Owners In Bid To Buy Bon-Ton

The WARN notice mentioned the Bon-Ton on Schoenersville Road in Bethlehem and the distribution center in Whitehall as sites for potential layoffs of 89 and 51 employees, respectively.

These layoffs will only occur if the company fails to attract a buyer at a bankruptcy auction scheduled for Monday, April 9.

According to a Reuters report, mall owners Namdar Realty Group and Washington Prime Group Inc. are in talks to acquire Bon-Ton Stores jointly out of bankruptcy. "We remain committed to pursuing the best path forward for the Company and its stakeholders, including Bon-Ton associates".

Bon-Ton did not give a specific reason for the closures, but the company did file for bankruptcy back in February.

In late January, Bon-Ton announced the closure of 42 locations.


The layoff notices were filed under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (or WARN) and were required under state and federal law, Bon-Ton said. In addition to its Westgate Mall location, Bon-Ton has stores at South Mall in Salisbury Township, Palmer Park Mall in Palmer Township and Richland Plaza outside Quakertown. "We're definitely seeing this big shift away from anchor stores, and malls are finding ways to deal with it", said Chandna.

At this time, no additional stores are going to be closed, unless the company fails to attract a buyer and is forced to liquidate.

The future of Bon-Ton - and the result of that sale process - should become clearer within the next week.

Securities and Exchange Commission filings show the company has almost $1 billion in debt. The company's creditors include Estee Lauder, which is owed $5 million; Hanesbrands, $3.6 million; Keurig Green Mountain Inc., $3.6 million; Michael Kors USA Inc., $2.8 million; Perry Ellis, $2.4 million; Ralph Lauren, $2.2 million; and the city of Milwaukee, which is owed $1.9 million.


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