Only bids moving forward for Bon-Ton are for liquidation

Younkers stores could shutter across Iowa as part of bankruptcy

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.

However, Reuters also reported that the auction was still in progress late Monday night.

Bon-Ton had been working with an investor group that included US mall owners Namdar Realty Group and Washington Prime Group Inc.to secure a bid that would have kept Bon-Ton in business as a going concern.

Other stores operated by Bon-Ton are under the Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Carson's, Elder- Beerman and Herberger's names, but most of its stores have histories that predate the parent company. It has stores throughout the state including the Boston Stores at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa, Southridge Mall in Greendale, the Shops of Grand Avenue in downtown Milwaukee, Bayshore Town Center in Glendale, Brookfield Square Mall in Brookfield and Regency Mall in Racine.

Once the company selects a winning bidder and the proposed deal is approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Reuters says the liquidator can begin selling the inventory, store leases, fixtures and intellectual property.

If Reuters' report proves true, it would make Bon-Ton the first department store in years to liquidate.

But many storied retailers have struggled amid the current industry disruption from low-margin discounters such as Walmart Inc (WMT.N) and the increasing popularity of online shopping, dominated by Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).

One Bon-Ton remains in Central New York, at the Camillus Commons on West Genesee Street.

If it does go out of business, it would be the second big-box chain to close Lincoln stores this year.

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