- Kara Driscoll Staff Writer
The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., parent company of Elder-Beerman, has filed for bankruptcy.
The company and its subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions for a court-supervised financial restructuring under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
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The Company’s stores, e-commerce and mobile platforms under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates are open and operating as usual. As previously announced, the company is closing 47 stores this year, four of which closed in January and one store that is near completion and 42 additional stores. Store closing sales began on Feb. 1 and will run for approximately 10 to 12 weeks.
Only one store in Ohio will be impacted, and no local stores will shut down as a result of this round of closures.
Bon-Ton has received a commitment from its existing lenders for up to $725 million in debtor-in-possession financing which, subject to court approval, is expected to support the company’s operations during the financial restructuring process.
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Elder-Beerman has a deep-rooted presence in the Miami Valley — and it can be traced back to another store, Boston Dry Goods, in 1883. The Boston Dry Goods store was opened by Thomas Elder, William Hunter, Jr. and Russell Johnston on East Third Street in the early 1880s. It sold texiles, clothing and groceries, and it later became the Elder & Johnston Co.
In 1962, Dayton businessman Arthur Beerman, who had opened two Beermans for Bargains junior department stores in 1950, merged his store with the Elder & Johnston Co. During the 1960s the Elder-Beerman Co. opened numerous department stores in the region, including Hamilton and Richmond, Ind.
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The company continued to expand, acquiring department stores in Michigan, Illinois and Kentucky. In 1993, the 50th store opened at the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek. In 2003, Elder-Beerman was acquired by Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.
Bon-Ton has a major presence in the Dayton region. Along with its distribution center in Fairborn, there are Elder-Beerman stores across the region in Dayton, Huber Heights, Kettering, Piqua and Beavercreek. Bon-Ton closed a store location at the Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville, Ohio in late March.
The Elder-Beerman store in Towne Mall Galleria in Middletown, which is in Warren County, also closed earlier this year. The closing impacted 65 employees. If more stores closed in the Dayton region, hundreds of jobs would be impacted.
Bon-Ton could also reduce the number of distribution centers from three to two, shutting down its facility in Fairborn.
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