Bon-Ton: WARN notice for Lehigh Valley stores doesn't necessarily mean closures

Bon-Ton: WARN notice for Lehigh Valley stores doesn't necessarily mean closures

Bon-Ton: WARN notice for Lehigh Valley stores doesn't necessarily mean closures

Bon-Ton is also closing Younkers stores in Eau Claire and Marshfield; and Boston Stores in Milwaukee, Janesville, Glendale, Racine, Greendale, Brookfield, Madison, and Wauwatosa. We are encouraged by the interest in Bon-Ton and we hope that jobs will be preserved through a sale process.

Layoffs could begin as soon as June 5, and 93 Eau Claire employees will lose their jobs, according to a notice filed with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

The future of Bon-Ton - and the result of that sale process - should become clearer within the next week.

The layoff notices were filed under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (or WARN) and were required under state and federal law, Bon-Ton said. An auction is expected to be held Monday, after which a court hearing would take place April 13 to approve a sale.

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A Younkers closure would be a big loss for Miller Hill Mall, considering mall anchors around the country are closing faster than they are opening. The WARN notice was legally required in case the sale is not successful. Notices also were issued for 140 workers at two stores in the Lehigh Valley.

Younkers is closing it's store in the Oakwood Mall. The company has a Younkers store at Gateway Mall in Lincoln, as well as one in Grand Island. The filing says maintenance and fix issues are required to be covered by Bon-Ton pursuant to its lease, but that the retailer has "intentionally deferred" such work. According to the report, Namdar owns about 130 malls in the U.S. Washington Prime owns interests in 108 properties.

Bon-Ton is an anchor - and the largest tenant - at the 270,000-square-foot Westgate Mall.

Bon-Ton did not give a specific reason for the closures, but the company did file for bankruptcy back in February. More than 2,200 employees state-wide will be affected.

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