Younkers Empire Mall store closing

Bon-Ton warns of mass layoff if company is not sold

Eau Claire Younkers store to close

The Eau Claire store employs 93 people who will be permanently laid off, according to a notice the company sent this week to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Because of that, they are required by law to give notice of closures, in case that sale does not go through.

Bon-Ton Stores Inc. said it is not announcing any more store closings despite a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice that it has put out.

"Since that date (the company) has been actively engaged in efforts to reorganize the business or sell the business", Bon-Ton vice president Gail Monreal wrote to DEED.

On March 30, Bon-Ton announced that it was in active discussions with companies interested in a bid to purchase Bon-Ton.

The company is expected to conduct an auction under the USA bankruptcy code on April 9 in NY, after which a court hearing would take place on April 13 to approve a sale.

The Eau Claire Younkers is one of five large "anchor" stores at the Oakwood Mall.

The bid for Bon-Ton offers a path for the retailer to survive, according to sources in the report. The Janesville store is at the Janesville Mall. It is legally required to provide employees with 60 days notice before they lose their jobs.

"I am not aware of that being a standard practice until such time as there is no agreement on ongoing financing", Green said.

Some shopping center owners are anxious about losing more than an anchor tenant if Bon-Ton is forced to liquidate.

Bon-Ton filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection February 4.

Boston Store - Bayshore Mall in Glendale.

Things didn't look much better from February 4 through March 3, according to a monthly operating report filed March 30 in Bankruptcy Court.

Bon-Ton now operates more than 200 stores across 23 states, under the nameplates of Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers.

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