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Bon-Ton Stores to be liquidated

Bon-Ton Eastern Hills

It appears no one wants to re-open Bon-Ton.

The bankrupt chain of 200 regional department stores will go out of business, after the only bidders competing at the Monday start of its court-supervised auction were liquidators.

One liquidator group estimated their initial bid was worth about $650 million, according to a creditor representative. Once Bon-Ton selects a winning bidder and the proposed deal is approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, DE, the liquidator can begin selling the inventory, store leases, fixtures and intellectual property.

A spokesperson for Bon-Ton did not immediately respond for comment.

The former retail giant had been working with U.S. mall owners Namdar Reality Group and Washington Prime Group to secure a bid that would have kept open a large portion of locations. Money raised from the auction will be used to pay creditors.

The chain operates stores in 24 states, largely in the Northeast and Midwest. It has been saddled with debt and struggling with weak sales, as shoppers abandon traditional department stores. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February and was exploring a sale of all or part of the company.

Bon-Ton has eight stores in Western New York.

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