Bon-Ton to be shut down

The winning bidder in an auction of Bon-Ton Stores’ corporate assets plans to shut the company down.

Bon-Ton Stores entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February.

The bankruptcy restructuring effort led to Monday’s auction.

The name of the winner bidder was not released, but the bid was scheduled to be approved Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.

According to a release on the Bon-Ton Stores website, “Bon-Ton will move forward in a constructive manner to ensure an orderly wind-down of operations that minimizes the impact of this development on our associates, customers, vendors, and the communities we serve.”

“At this time, all Bon-Ton… stores across the United States are open, and our e-commerce and mobile platforms are operating normally,” according to the release.

A representative of the local store directed media inquiries to the corporate office.

Attempts to reach media contact at the company’s Milwaukee office were unsuccessful.

The loss of Bon-Ton will be another blow to the Warren Mall.

After the 2014 closure of KMart, Bon-Ton was the only remaining anchor store. Both ends, the former KMart at the south end and the former Big Lots at the north, were vacant.

Cocca Development of Boardman, Ohio, purchased the mall in April 2016 and announced plans to demolish the concourse, leaving an open-air center.

Since then, the company has renovated the parking lot at a cost of more than $500,000, and added Dunham’s Sports to occupy the northern anchor location.

Signage at the mall indicates that an Ollie’s Bargain Outlet is coming soon.

“Bon-Ton is a setback to the Warren Mall but we will be diligently working on a replacement tenant,” President and CEO Anthony Cocca said. “We may lose one of the new tenants that we have not starting working on yet based on the co-tenancy language but will continue to work on the center. Ollies will be turned over at the end of this month and we will continue to renovate the spaces to move existing tenants around to enable us to begin demo of the portion of the building that will be removed.”

The Times Observer received notification that Bon-Ton is “canceling all open insertion orders” immediately, asking that inserts for the Thursday, April 19 edition be removed. The company asked that invoices be sent no later than Monday, April 23.

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