Syracuse, NY -- The Bon-Ton department store chain is closing its three stores in the Rochester market, the company announced today, but a spokeswoman said that shutdown does not affect its two stores in Central New York.
There is "no change to the status of our Syracuse stores,'' Mary Kerr, vice resident of investor and public relations at the York, Pa.,-based chain said this afternoon.
The two Bon-Ton stores in the Syracuse market are in the Carousel Center as well as a freestanding store in Camillus, at Camillus Commons.
The Bon-Ton announced today in a press release that the three suburban Rochester stores will be sold to Wilmorite Inc., which owns the shopping centers where the stores are located. Those malls include Greece Ridge Center, Eastview Mall and Marketplace Mall.
The Eastview and Greece Ridge stores will close in March, according to The Bon-Ton. The Marketplace Bon-Ton will close in March Nearly employees will be affected and will receive severance pay, according to The Bon-Ton.
Wilmorite will pay The Bon-Ton $ million for the three department stores, The Bon-Ton reported.
Bud Bergren, president and chief executive officer of The Bon-Ton said, "the company continually reviews the performance of its assets; as a result of these reviews, we made the decision to pursue the sale of the aforementioned stores. We sincerely appreciate the loyalty and dedication of our associates and the support of our Rochester community customers."
The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. operates department stores, which includes 11 furniture galleries, in 23 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson Pirie Scott, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers nameplates and, in the Detroit area, under the Parisian nameplate.
Bon-Ton Employee Reviews
productive and engaging but not much time to secure freindships with co-workers
Customer Service Representative (Former Employee) - 2nd Floor of Burlington building in a shopping center. Elevators available - June 29,
I only worked part time so I often missed the employee privilege to access sale items before the sales floor. But I did have access to the gym each day if I wanted to use the equipment before my shift. everybody had their own shift and all were expected to work that shift, clock out for lunch, and clock back in on time. Since that was done n your computer, there was no argument about the time unless there was a computer failure.The lunch room was clean, and furnished with utensils, condiments, etc, by the company.
free holiday lunches and first access to sales items at reduced prices
short breaks, no benefits for part time workers, no meetings to discuss goals or errors in sales catalogs, etc.
A year-old department store has filed for bankruptcy after closing dozens of stores
- Bon-Ton Stores has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
- Attempts by Bon-Ton to generate excitement in stores have fizzled.
- It previously announced plans to close 42 stores across the US.
Bon-Ton Stores, saddled with debt and faltering sales, enters the week beside a throng of other retailers under bankruptcy protection, seeking a buyer for pieces or all of a department store that was founded at the tail end of the 19th century.
The company has survived a score of severe economic downturns, including the Great Depression, but finds itself in uncharted territory today.
While Amazon.com has revolutionized the way people shop, the behavior of Americans had already been diverging radically both in terms of what they buy, and where they buy it. The changes have been so sweeping they've left the aisles of many department stores barren of customers even during the crucial days leading up to Christmas.
There have been signs for some time that Bon-Ton was in trouble and that did not ease heading into the most recent holiday season.
Sales at established Bon-Ton stores, a critical gauge of a retailer's health, slid percent in nine-week period before the New Year. Those sales had tumbled percent in the prior quarter.
On Sunday, Bon-Ton filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Delaware. There, it joined several dozen other retailers who entered a bankruptcy court over the past year, among them Toys R Us, Payless ShoeSource and Gymboree Corp.
"The harsh reality is that while Bon-Ton's management put in great effort to make the business sustainable, they were always running up a down escalator," said Neil Saunders, the managing director of GlobalData Retail.
Bon-Ton runs stores in 24 states, largely in the Northeast and Midwest.
While the retail and department stores that have sold Americans goods for generations march into bankruptcy court, Amazon for the first time booked more than $1 billion in profits during its most recent quarter.
Bon-Ton, which has dual headquarters in York, Pennsylvania, and in Milwaukee, is now in talks with debt holders about restructuring $1 billion in debt.
It is closing dozens of stores this year in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana and elsewhere.
"We are currently engaged in discussions with potential investors and our debt holders on a financial restructuring plan, and the actions we are taking are intended to give us additional time and financial flexibility," CEO Bill Tracy said in prepared comments Sunday.
Bon-Ton received a commitment of $ million in debtor-in-possession financing to operate during its restructuring process.
All department stores are attempting to overhaul their appearance, along with what they are offering customers and how they get it to them.
In a recent regulatory filing, Bon-Ton said it would accelerate that campaign as it tries to catch up with Kohl's, Macy's and J.C. Penney, who are devoting major resources to better compete online.
"Many of Bon- Ton's stores were in areas where the availability of branded fashions and homewares was traditionally poor," said Saunders at GlobalData. "However, while this once made them a focal point and a destination for local shoppers, the internet has done much to change this dynamic and has made the stores less relevant, and arguably less necessary, than they once were."
Attempts by Bon-Ton to generate excitement in stores have fizzled.
The company in October opened FAO Schwarz toy shops in almost stores (FAO Schwarz shut down as an independent retailer two years ago), but it has done little to revive sales.
The Loneliness of One-Click Shopping
How did it become a patriotic duty to buy online?
One December day in , a woman walked into a Bon-Ton department store in Ithaca, N.Y., in a state of high anxiety. Christmas loomed and she had yet to purchase a single gift. A clerk devoted herself to the customer’s cause, moving through the store with her to select something for each person on her extensive list.
The clerk’s tale became something of a legend at the Bon-Ton, a regional chain that grew to include stores across the Northeast and Midwest. The company prided itself on the customer service that had characterized it from the start, a century earlier. It is a consumer experience that we are now at risk of losing altogether, as our buying habits shift away from our local stores and into the ether.
Nationwide, 9, stores shuttered in , among them 2, Payless ShoeSource stores and Sears stores. That was the highest level on record, but it has been outdone by the devastation of this pandemic year. Americans who might once have felt qualms about buying from Amazon now have social license to do so — it has become our patriotic duty, our cause larger than ourselves, to fulfill our needs online. By placing a one-click order, we have been helping to flatten the curve.
In the third quarter of this year, Amazon’s sales were up more than a third over the year before, with profits surpassing $6 billion. To handle this surge and prepare for holiday season demand, the company hired , people between July and September, pushing its global work force past one million. Analysts predict that brick-and-mortar store closures could reach 25, by year’s end. J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus and J. Crew filed for bankruptcy, Macy’s furloughed nearly all of its , workers for months, and countless independent businesses have closed for good.
By its end, the pandemic may have permanently reshaped national spending habits. A recent McKinsey & Company survey found that more than half of consumers plan to keep using curbside pickup and grocery delivery after the pandemic is over. Many storefronts will remain abandoned. Those who once worked in them — since , no other occupation has shrunk more in number than retail salesperson — will head for the order-fulfillment centers proliferating across the country; Amazon opened sorting facilities and distribution centers in September alone. Such work often pays less than what a veteran retail clerk would normally make, and is more physically taxing and far more socially isolating.
The shift will also increase the divide between countless struggling cities and towns and the flourishing metropolitan areas now home to the headquarters of the online giants. Amazon recently announced plans to build office space for 25, salaried employees in Bellevue, a high-end Seattle suburb. In Arlington, Va., work proceeds on a new campus that will also welcome 25, In New York, the company paid $1 billion to gather 2, professional employees in, of all places, the former Lord & Taylor flagship store on Fifth Avenue.
The Bon-Ton, by contrast, had from the start set out to serve smaller cities, making its demise, in , an especially stark example of the twin problems of growing regional inequality and economic concentration.
The company’s roots traced back to the final years of the 19th century, when Samuel Grumbacher, a dry-goods merchant in Trenton, N.J., and German immigrant, sent his two sons and two sons-in-law off to stake out territory in the small cities of Pennsylvania. In , his son Max wrote to his father from York, a thriving manufacturing town south of Harrisburg, “I think we will do a good business here.”
He was right. The Bon-Ton offered an aspirational allure to the people of York. The Grumbachers sold fabrics on the bolt, with clerks ready to assist with cutting and measuring and a deliveryman ready to carry home large orders by horse and wagon. But it was in hats that Max Grumbacher distinguished his shop. Each season, he brought two milliners from New York to produce designs in the latest styles to be adopted by the shop’s own milliners. Hats were trimmed free.
By , the shop had moved into a resplendent new building, a four-story terra-cotta extravaganza with 27 departments spread across 37, square feet (bedding and housewares, stationery, cloaks and suits, corsets). Elevators were operated by smartly clad women; the mezzanine tearoom became a central meeting place. Musicians entertained shoppers on Friday and Saturdays. And every Christmas season, the store installed elaborate window displays and hosted a parade that culminated with Santa Claus being lifted over the crowd on a hook-and-ladder fire truck.
This was America’s golden era of department stores, when the average visit by shoppers lasted an astonishing two hours: New York had, among others, Lord & Taylor and Bloomingdale’s, Chicago had Marshall Field, Philadelphia had Wanamaker’s. The Grumbacher family’s bold premise was that a small city like York deserved such bounty, too. The shoppers agreed.
The Bon-Ton expanded into many other small cities as the company was passed down to Max’s widow, Daisy, and his sons Tom and Richard. Among them were Hanover, Pa; Hagerstown, Md.; and Martinsburg, W.Va. Later, as suburban flight set in, stores opened in malls and shopping centers. In , Tom’s son Tim took the company public, helping fuel further expansion.
Throughout the growth, the company retained a personal touch. It was famously lenient in its return policy, according to a commemorative history issued on its th anniversary. A “Charity Day” preceded store openings, when local groups could sell tickets for a preview visit. Stores offered fashion seminars and held champagne receptions for new product lines.
The end came startlingly swiftly. Struggling under the debt of its expansion, the company tried its best to adapt to the rise of e-commerce. But those champagne receptions didn’t translate to the virtual world, and it was impossible to compete with a giant like Amazon, which had capitalized on advantages such as skirting sales taxes in many states and getting bulk discounts from the Postal Service. The Bon-Ton declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early and closed its stores that summer. A tech firm later purchased the brand for its e-commerce sites.
Last year, I went to York to meet with Tim Grumbacher and his wife, Debra Simon, who succeeded him as company chairman when he retired. The old flagship store with its terra-cotta facade now holds the county’s human-services offices: adult probation, the drug and alcohol commission, mental-health case management. When I told the deputy sheriff working security why I was there, he regaled me with recollections from his childhood, of the pretty women in the cosmetics department, of being told, when he didn’t know what size socks he needed, to ball up his fist for a proxy measurement.
Over lunch at a Panera, I asked Mr. Grumbacher and Ms. Simon what had come of the three Bon-Tons in the York suburbs. They struggled to agree on what remained at the former site of one of them, the Galleria mall, most of which was now empty.
“And Penney’s,” Mr. Grumbacher said.
“Penney’s is gone,” Ms. Simon said.
“Kohl’s,” he said. “Who’s at the other end?”
“It’s empty,” she said.
Last summer, my older son’s baseball tournaments often took us to the small cities of Pennsylvania. It seemed as if on each trip, we would pass yet another abandoned Bon-Ton — in Lebanon, in Harrisburg, in Allentown. Each time, I would think about that Ithaca clerk coming to the aid of the frantic Christmas shopper, and of the gratitude and social warmth of human consumer experiences.
That clerk’s modern counterpart might be a woman in one of the nearby fulfillment centers, rushing to keep up with the picking and packing of the orders we are now placing from the safety and comfort of home with barely a notion of the people involved in delivering our wish to our door. Something, I realized, has been lost in that transition.
Alec MacGillis is a senior reporter at ProPublica and the author of the forthcoming book “Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America.”
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Ton reviews bon store
Bon-Ton name could find second life as company sells intellectual property
By Staff and wire reports
Sep 06, at PM
The now-defunct Bon-Ton may see a second life.
It remains unclear what that could mean for the Bon-Ton brand name or how the second life could manifest, but the company's websites are attempting to drum up interest.
“We've got great news! Bon-Ton is coming back!” Bon-Ton’s website read Thursday. The message was overlaid on a photo of a woman throwing confetti.
Scott Carpenter, president of retail solutions at Great American Group, which led Bon-Ton's liquidation, confirmed in a statement that the company's intellectual property is being sold.
“We cannot speak to the purchaser's future plans with the company,” Carpenter said in the statement. “All inquiries should be referred to the buyer, which will be disclosed once the transaction is closed.”
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The newspaper also reported that while the new Bon-Ton will emphasize its online shopping experience, CSC said it is "also in advanced discussions with landlords about reopening stores in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.''
Following its purchase of Hess’s Department Stores, the chain once operated five Bon-Tons in the Lehigh Valley: at the South Mall in Salisbury Township, Palmer Park Mall in Palmer Township, Richland Plaza in Richland Township, Trexler Mall in Trexlertown and Phillipsburg Mall in Phillipsburg, N.J. The Trexlertown and Phillipsburg stores closed earlier this year while the others wrapped up liquidation sales at the end of August.
Liquidation sales started in April, when Bon-Ton failed to find a bidder willing to keep the business going.
The Chicago Tribune and The Morning Call contributed to this report.
Bon-Ton Review: Bon-Ton Pros & Cons
Bon-Ton (bonton.com) is a well-known apparel store which competes against other clothing brands like Based on our in-depth Bon-Ton review, when compared to its competitors, Bon-Ton is a mid-range performing brand within its category. Read the full Bonton.com review below for more details.
- Fair trade products: Does each store offer fair trade products? Is each brand fair trade certified?
- Sustainable products: Does each store have sustainable products? Does each brand have environment-friendly products?
- Home try-on policy: Does each store offer at-home try-ons? Does each brand offer a try before you buy policy?
- Face masks: Does each store sell face masks? Can I buy face masks at each brand?
- Products made in USA: Are each store products made in the USA? Does each brand manufacture their products in the United States?
- Sizing guides: Does each store offer a sizing guide on their website? Does each brand have a fit guide to help me with sizing?
- Cruelty-free products: Are products sold at each store cruelty free? Does each brand sell cruelty-free products?
- Wash & care instructions: Does each store offer wash & care instructions on their website? Does each brand provide a wash & care guide for its products?
- Vegan products: Does each store offer vegan products? Does each brand offer vegan options?
- Eco-friendly materials: Does each store use eco-friendly materials? Does each brand use recyclable materials?
- White-glove delivery: Does each store offer white-glove delivery and assembly? Does each brand offer in-home delivery services?
- Free returns & exchanges: Does each store offer free returns? What's their exchange policy? What is each brand's returns and exchanges policy?
- International shipping: Does each store ship internationally? each brand international shipping?
- Curbside pickup: Does each store have curbside pickup? Does each brand have in-store pickup?
- PayPal: Does each store accept PayPal? each brand PayPal support?
- Debit & prepaid cards: each store debit card support? Does each brand take debit cards?
- Google Pay: Does each store accept Google Pay? Does each brand take Google Pay?
- Apple Pay: Does each store accept Apple Pay? Does each brand take Apple Pay?
- Shop Pay: Does each store accept Shop Pay? Does each brand take Shop Pay?
- Amazon Pay: Does each store accept Amazon Pay? Does each brand take Amazon Pay?
- Cryptocurrency payments: Does each store accept Bitcoin or cryptocurrency? Does each brand take Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies for payment?
- Alipay: Does each store accept Alipay? Does each brand take Alipay?
- AARP discounts: Does each store offer discounts to AARP members? Does each brand have an AARP discount policy?
- Military discounts: Does each store offer a military discount? each brand military discount?
- Student discounts: Does each store have a student discount? each brand student discount?
- Price matching: Does each store price match? each brand price matching?
- Teacher discounts: Does each store give discounts to teachers and educators? each brand teachers and educator discount?
- Front-line worker discounts: Does each store offer discounts to front-line workers? each brand essential workers discount?
- Senior discounts: each store senior discount? Does each brand have a senior discount policy?
- Birthday discounts: each store birthday discount? Does each brand give birthday discounts?
- Competitor coupons: Does each store accept competitors' coupons? Does each brand take competitor coupons?
- Coupon stacking: Does each store support coupon stacking? each brand coupon stacking?
- Gift cards: Does each store offer gift cards? Does each brand accept gift cards or e-gift cards?
- Order tracking: How does I track my each store order? each brand track order?
- Order changes & cancellations: each store cancellation policy? Can I change my order? each brand order changes? How does I cancel my order after placing it?
- Loyalty programs: each store loyalty or rewards program? Does each brand offer a loyalty or rewards program?
- Contact information: How does I contact each store? each brand contact information?
- Afterpay financing: Does each store accept Afterpay financing? Does each brand take Afterpay financing?
- Affirm financing: Does each store accept Affirm financing? each brand Affirm financing support?
- Klarna financing: Does each store accept Klarna financing? Does each brand take Klarna for financing?
- Sezzle financing: Does each store accept Sezzle financing? Does each brand support Sezzle financing?
- Zip financing: Does each store accept Zip financing? Does each brand take Zip Pay?
- Bread financing: Does each store accept Bread financing? Does each brand offer Bread as a financing option?
- Splitit financing: Does each store accept Splitit financing? each brand Splitit financing support?
- Layaway programs: Does each store offer layaway programs? What is each brand's layaway policy?
- Four financing: Does each store accept Four financing? Does each brand take Four financing?
- Snap Finance: Does each store accept Snap Finance? each brand Snap Finance support?
- GreenSky: Does each store accept GreenSky financing? each brand GreenSky financing support?
- Influencer marketing: Does each store have an influencer marketing program? Does each brand use influencer marketing?
- Affiliate marketing: each store affiliate program? Does each brand offer an affiliate program?
- Positive environmental practices: Does each store publish a clear commitment to positive environmental practices? Does each brand practice sustainability and a low carbon footprint in its operations?
- Diversity commitment: Does each store publish a clear and accountable diversity commitment statement? Does each brand have a clear statement for commitment to diversity?
- Nurse discounts: each store nurse discounts? Does each brand have any discounts for nurses?
- Charitable causes: Does each store support any charitable or humanitarian causes? Does each brand give back to charity? Are there any social causes they stand for?
- Government worker discounts: each store government worker discount? Does each brand offer any discounts for government workers?
- Ethical practices: Is each store considered an ethical brand? Does each brand use ethical practices?
Bon-Ton's strengths are:
Offers contact information availabilitydetails
Does affiliate marketing programsdetails
Knoji has 44 Bon-Ton reviews and ratings as of October 13, Knoji editors and the Knoji shopper community have reviewed Bon-Ton and compared it against 0 top brands, reviewing Bon-Ton based on product and store features such as ethically-sourced products, environment-friendly products and home testing options. Knoji reviews and ranks Bonton.com and other apparel brands based on how many features each offers and based on a 5-star rating scale. Based on these factors and 44 Bon-Ton reviews, Bon-Ton earns an overall score of out of points. Bon-Ton offers 0 total features such as contact information, affiliate marketing and . Bon-Ton's's review score also factors in its popularity, which is in the mid-range compared to competing .
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Grammy award nominee and "America's Hottest Accordion" winner, Dwayne Dopsie plays a high energy zydeco that keeps you wanting more. Dwayne hails from one of the most influential Zydeco families in the world Although inspired by tradition, he has developed his own high energy style that defies existing stereotypes and blazes a refreshingly distinct path for 21st century Zydeco music. To put it plainly, his latest release Bon Ton hits hard. The familiar, unrelenting Zydeco rhythms are met with a virtuosity unmatched by any of his peers. The old soul in his voice powers through searing guitars and the perfect assemblage of horns, yielding a particularly potent brand of rhythm and trance that only Zydeco in it's purest form can deliver. Listeners get the heart and soul of the artist with stand out solo tracks like "Chain Gang Worker," but all in all, the album is exactly what it professes to be: a high impact "Bon Ton" from one of Acadiana's most masterful lineage bearers.