Department store chain Bon-Ton files for bankruptcy protection

Bon-Ton Stores has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the largest retailer to do so of which year.

The regional department store chain, which has dual headquarters in Milwaukee as well as also also York, Pennsylvania, has been burdened with massive debt as the item struggles to grow sales as well as also also move operations online from the face of Amazon.

Bon-Ton said Sunday the item received a commitment of as much as $725 million in financing coming from existing lenders to support its operations.

“During of which court-supervised process, we plan to continue operating from the normal course as well as also also executing on our key initiatives to drive enhanced performance,” CEO Bill Tracy said in a statement.

The company, which operates about 260 retail locations, recently laid out plans to shutter more than 40 stores across the U.S. under its various banners (i.e. Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s as well as also also Younkers).

“We are currently engaged in discussions with potential investors as well as also also our debtholders on a financial restructuring plan,” Tracy said.

While under bankruptcy protection, Bon-Ton said the item will also explore strategic alternatives, including a sale of the company or assets as a part of the reorganization plan. The process will also make the item easier for Bon-Ton to renegotiate its leases or ask for rent reductions.

The department store chain recently reported a dismal holiday season, despite many of its peers, including J.C. Penney, Kohl’s as well as also also Macy’s, doing well against a strong economic backdrop.

Bon-Ton has said the item plans to invest more in private-label brands, refreshing the overall store format, ditching excess inventory as well as also also strengthening its e-commerce business.

“The harsh reality will be of which while Bon-Ton’s management put in great effort to make the business sustainable, they were always running up a down escalator,” GlobalData Retail managing director Neil Saunders said.

“A scaled-down business may have a chance of survival,” Saunders said. yet Bon-Ton must resolve the fact of which its products are “undifferentiated, unclear as well as also also have become increasingly irrelevant to consumers.”

More than 20 retailers, including Toys R Us, Hhgregg, Gymboree as well as also also RadioShack, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2017. as well as also also with another load of retail debt coming due of which year, several others could do so.

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