YORK, Pa., 2015-10-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:BONT) today announced it will close its Elder-Beerman stores in the Huntington Mall in Huntington, West Virginia and the Lima Mall in Lima, Ohio. The Company will not renew these leases, which terminate January 31, 2016. Additionally, the Company announced the closing of its Bon-Ton store in the Carousel Center in Syracuse, New York upon its scheduledFebruary 28, 2016 lease termination. The closings will impact 58, 51 and 43 associates at the Huntington Mall, Lima Mall and Carousel Center locations, respectively.
Bon-Ton acquired the leasehold interests in the Carousel Center store as part of its Chappell’s acquisition in 1994 and the Huntington Mall and Lima Mall stores as part of its Elder-Beerman acquisition in 2003. The Company does not expect costs associated with the closing of the locations to be material. The stores will close at the end of their lease terms.
Kathryn Bufano, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We actively review our store portfolio to ensure efficient asset utilization. While decisions to close stores are not taken lightly, closings are part of ongoing real estate initiatives in which we strategically conclude operations at underperforming locations, enabling us to redirect capital into more profitable and productive assets. As a result of our performance reviews, we felt it prudent to close the aforementioned stores. We are very grateful for the dedicated Huntington, Lima and Carousel Center store associates and are committed to providing assistance to these associates.”
The affected associates in the Huntington Mall, Lima Mall and Carousel Center stores will be offered the opportunity to interview for available positions at other Elder-Beerman or Bon-Ton stores, or receive career transition benefits, including severance, according to established practices and state employment service support.
The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., with corporate headquarters in York, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, operates 270 stores, which includes nine furniture galleries and four clearance centers, in 26 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates. The stores offer a broad assortment of national and private brand fashion apparel and accessories for women, men and children, as well as cosmetics and home furnishings. For further information, please visit the investor relations section of the Company’s website at http://investors.bonton.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information included in this press release contains statements that are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, which may be identified by words such as “may,” “could,” “will,” “plan,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “project,” “intend” or other similar expressions and include the Company’s fiscal 2015 guidance, involve important risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect results in the future and, accordingly, such results may differ from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of the Company. Factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to: risks related to retail businesses generally; a significant and prolonged deterioration of general economic conditions which could negatively impact the Company in a number of ways, including the potential write-down of the current valuation of intangible assets and deferred taxes; risks related to the Company’s proprietary credit card program; potential increases in pension obligations; consumer spending patterns, debt levels, and the availability and cost of consumer credit; additional competition from existing and new competitors; inflation; deflation; changes in the costs of fuel and other energy and transportation costs; weather conditions that could negatively impact sales; uncertainties associated with expanding or remodeling existing stores; the ability to attract and retain qualified management; the dependence upon relationships with vendors and their factors; a data security breach or system failure; the ability to reduce or control SG&A expenses, including initiatives to reduce expenses and improve efficiency; operational disruptions; unsuccessful marketing initiatives; the ability to expand our capacity and improve efficiency through our new eCommerce fulfillment center; changes in, or the failure to successfully implement, our key strategies, including initiatives to improve our merchandising, marketing and operations; adverse outcomes in litigation; the incurrence of unplanned capital expenditures; the ability to obtain financing for working capital, capital expenditures and general corporate purposes; the impact of regulatory requirements including the Health Care Reform Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; the inability or limitations on the Company’s ability to favorably adjust the valuation allowance on deferred tax assets; and the financial condition of mall operators. Additional factors that could cause the Company’s actual results to differ from those contained in these forward-looking statements are discussed in greater detail under Item 1A of the Company’s Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
CONTACT: Kim George
Divisional Vice President
Source: The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.
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