Elder-Beerman parent company to close 40 stores

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Elder-Beerman parent company to close 40 stores

Bon-Ton Stores Inc., the parent company of Elder-Beerman, will close at least 40 stores by the end of 2018.

The retailer will shutter about a sixth of its 260 department stores, furniture galleries and clearance centers. The chain has Elder-Beerman stores at the Dayton Mall, Mall at Fairfield Common and several others at Dayton area locations.

The company has not disclosed what stores will be shuttered.

Elder-Beerman’s parent company hired a restructuring firm earlier this year to look into bankruptcy as it grapples with more than $900 million of debt. Bon Stores Inc. hired PJT Partners to find ways to refinance the company’s debt as sales and customer traffic declines at stores like Elder-Beerman, which got its start in Dayton in 1883 when the Boston Dry Goods Store opened.

The company’s comparable store sales decreased by more than 6 percent in the second quarter compared to 2016, and its net loss was more than $33 million. Total sales in the period decreased 7 percent to $504 million, compared with $542 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016.

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Bon-Ton also owns and operates stores like the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates. The company hasn’t stayed immune to the retail apocalypse. Bon-Ton closed its Bon-Ton store at Maine Mall in South Portland, Maine at the end of August — laying off 55 employees. Bon-Ton closed a store location at the Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville, Ohio in late March. That closure impacted 46 employees.

The Elder-Beerman store in Towne Mall Galleria in Middletown, which is in Warren County, also closed earlier this year. The closing impacted 65 employees.

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