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Bon-Ton, the bankrupt retailer that shut its stores last week after being in business for over 100 years, is poised to reopen now that a new owner has scooped up its brand.
A subsidiary of the tech company CSC Generation Holdings told USA TODAY that it has signed a deal giving it the rights to Bon-Ton and its subsidiary department store chains, Boston Store, Bergner's, Carson's, Elder Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers. The agreement will need to get the green light from the Delaware Bankruptcy Court to become final.
The new Bon-Ton will emphasize its online shopping experience. But CSC says it is "also in advanced discussions with landlords about reopening stores in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.'' Those locations would likely be staffed by former Bon-Ton employees.
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By focusing on e-commerce, and making plans to reinvent its physical stores with personal styling services and extended hours on the days when more people might be inclined to shop, Bon-Ton is attempting to be more competitive in a retail environment transformed by Amazon and fast-fashion chains like Zara.
"The new Bon-Ton is a department store tailored to the expectations of the modern customer," Jordan Voloshin, co-president of CSC Generation, said in a statement.
Last week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the websites of Bon-Ton and its subsidiary chains were giving clues that a return was imminent. And people familiar with the pending deal told USA TODAY that it was likely, though they were not officially authorized to speak about it until it was final.
Bon-Ton was founded in 1898. When it closed, it had roughly 250 stores in 23 states throughout the Northeast, the Midwest and the upper Great Plains.
The York, Pennsylvania-based company filed for bankruptcy protection in February, after going eight years without making a profit. In April, it was purchased by a group of its creditors and liquidators at an auction, and the company closed its stores on Aug. 29.