A dozen department stores across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin -- including the Bergners store at CherryVale -- may be closing soon following a federal bankruptcy auction held Tuesday.
A group of lienholders and two capital finance firms proffered the winning bid for the assets of The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., which operates roughly 250 stores under the names in 23 states in the Midwest, upper Great Plains, and the Northeast.
The stores operate under the names Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers. They used a red six-petaled flower-type motif as a common logo.
In the WNIJ listening area, a Bergner’s store is one of the anchors at CherryVale Mall near Rockford, at the Northland Mall in Sterling, and at the Peru Mall. There are Carson’s stores in DeKalb, St. Charles and Aurora and at the Spring Hill Mall in Dundee. In southern Wisconsin, a Boston Store is in Janesville and an Elder-Beerman in Beloit. Two Boston Stores are located in Madison.
Company officials declined to provide a list of store closings following the auction.
In a news release, company officials said that stores, e-commerce and mobile platforms will remain open throughout the store closing sales. Bon-Ton expects to provide more details about the liquidation plans and going out of business sales at its stores following approval of the winning bid by the Bankruptcy Court.
CNBC reported that the stores are expected to close within 10 to 12 weeks after the sale is approved. A hearing was scheduled for today.
Bon-Ton CEO Bill Tracy said the company had tried to find buyers who were interested in continued operation of the stores but was unsuccessful.
“We are committed to working constructively with the winning bidder 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,” he said.
Bon-Ton had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February and announced closings for nearly 50 stores.