Elder-Beerman has a long history in Dayton, with the first store opening in 1883 on East Third Street. Originally called the Boston Dry Goods Store, the store was founded by Thomas Elder, William Hunter Jr. and Russell Johnston of the Elder & Johnston Co.
After moving to the Reibold Building on West Fourth Street, the store survived over six decades before merging with Beermans for Bargains junior department stores in 1962. The department stores began dawning the Elder-Beerman name after the merger was complete.
A five-story Elder-Beerman opened its doors for shoppers in 1976 on Courthouse Square. Outliving all other downtown Dayton department stores, it closed in 2002 after nearly three decades.
Shortly after exiting bankruptcy a year later, Elder-Beerman was bought by Bon-Ton Stores Inc. for $92.8 million. Bon-Ton Stores Inc. filed for bankruptcy in 2018 and liquidation of its stores took place throughout the summer of that year. At the time of liquidation, Elder-Beerman had 31 stores across eight states, with five locations in the Dayton area including the Dayton Mall, the Mall at Fairfield Commons and on Dorothy Lane in Kettering.
A Bon-Ton revival was attempted once before by tech company CSC Generation, that, according to the company’s website, is “a platform designed to save brands from liquidating.” The company purchased the intellectual property rights for Bon-Ton Stores Inc. and its subsidiaries in 2018, but plans for reviving the department stores went unrealized.