Bon-Ton, owner of Herberger & # 39; s and Younkers, goes to the settlement

WILMINGTON, Del. – Bon-Ton Stores Inc, a bankrupt chain of 200 regional department stores, will go bankrupt after the only bidders competing in its auction supervised by the court on Monday were liquidators, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Bon-Ton had been working with the owners of the United States Mall Namdar Realty Group and Washington Prime Group Inc to secure an offer that would have kept a large portion of the Bon-Ton locations open. Bon-Ton is a great tenant of both landowners and their survival would have helped protect the value of their shopping centers.

The failure of the company, based in York, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee, comes weeks after Toys & # 39; R & # 39; Us will begin. a liquidation by parts of its homonymous stores and Babies & # 39; R & # 39; Us, the last sign of agitation in the retail industry.

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

As of Monday afternoon, the auction had not concluded, according to four sources.

The money raised from the auction will be used to pay what is owed to Bon-Ton's creditors.

Once the company selects a winning bidder and approves the settlement proposed by the US Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, the liquidator can begin selling the inventory, leases of stores, accessories and intellectual property.

A liquidator group estimated that its initial offer was worth around $ 650 million, according to a creditor representative. 659002] The company's stores include Carson & # 39; s, Younkers, Elder-Beerman, Bergner's, Boston Store and Herberger's, as well as Bon-Ton.

The company, which has its roots in 1854, says on its website that it has survived the Civil War in the United States, the Great Depression and "profound cultural and technological transformations."

But many retailers have struggled amid the current disruption of the low-margin store industry such as Walmart Inc and the growing popularity of online shopping, dominated by Amazon .com Inc.

Sports Authority Holdings Inc, the clothing chain The Limited Stores LLC and the electronic products retailer hhgregg Inc are among the chains that have recently closed.

Bon-Ton and Toys & # 39; R & # 39; US operated a combination of almost 60 million square feet (5.6 million square meters) of store space, according to its latest annual reports, and used a combined total of 83,000 when they filed for bankruptcy.

Bon-Ton filed for bankruptcy in February and Toy s & # 39; R & # 39; Us in September.

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