Elder-Beerman brand name making a comeback? Company buys naming rights

Elder-Beerman could see a revival after its brand name was purchased by a company, according to a report from Women’s Wear Daily.

BrandX, a company created by brothers Deepak and Kamal Ramani in 2021, bought the naming rights of Elder-Beerman and its affiliate stores — Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Herberger’s and Younkers — with plans to revive them. The company also purchased the brands names of Goody’s, Gordmans, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage Stores.

Deepak heads the Ramani Group, a property management and real estate development company based in New Jersey. Tom Ott, the former chief merchant of Saks Off 5th, also is involved in the revival project, according to the report.

The revival will kick off with the launch of an online store for BonTon this summer. A brick-and-mortar Carson’s is expected to open in in Joliet, Illinois, in the spring of 2023; Younkers will be the next one to launch at an future date, and the rest of the brands will follow, according to the report.

“The store you know and love is coming back — bigger and better than ever!” the websites for each brand reads.

Elder-Beerman has a long history in Dayton, with the first store opening in 1883 on East Third Street. Originally called the Boston Dry Goods Store, the store was founded by Thomas Elder, William Hunter Jr. and Russell Johnston of the Elder & Johnston Co.

After moving to the Reibold Building on West Fourth Street, the store survived over six decades before merging with Beermans for Bargains junior department stores in 1962. The department stores began dawning the Elder-Beerman name after the merger was complete.

A five-story Elder-Beerman opened its doors for shoppers in 1976 on Courthouse Square. Outliving all other downtown Dayton department stores, it closed in 2002 after nearly three decades.

Shortly after exiting bankruptcy a year later, Elder-Beerman was bought by Bon-Ton Stores Inc. for $92.8 million. Bon-Ton Stores Inc. filed for bankruptcy in 2018 and liquidation of its stores took place throughout the summer of that year. At the time of liquidation, Elder-Beerman had 31 stores across eight states, with five locations in the Dayton area including the Dayton Mall, the Mall at Fairfield Commons and on Dorothy Lane in Kettering.

A Bon-Ton revival was attempted once before by tech company CSC Generation, that, according to the company’s website, is “a platform designed to save brands from liquidating.” The company purchased the intellectual property rights for Bon-Ton Stores Inc. and its subsidiaries in 2018, but plans for reviving the department stores went unrealized.

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