Bon-Ton Stores
REAL ESTATE

Bon-Ton to close at least 40 stores

BY Marianne Wilson

The Bon-Ton Stores is slashing its store base as its losses continue to mount.

The struggling department store retailer plans to close at least 40 stores through 2018. The company, which operates 260 stores under several banners, announced the news in its third quarter financial results, describing the closures as a “significant store rationalization program.”

“This will enable us with moving forward with a more productive store footprint and redirecting capital expenditures toward investments designed to drive sales growth,” said William Tracy, president and CEO.

For the third quarter, The Bon-Ton posted a new loss of $44.9 million, or $2.19 per share, compared with net loss of $31.6 million, or $1.58 per share, in the year-ago period. Same-store sales fell 6.6% amid “unseasonably warm weather,” the company said. Total sales decreased 7.6% to $545.3 million.

The debt-laden retailer said it is working with advisors to proactively engage with its debt holders to establish a sustainable capital structure to support the business.

“We believe that the actions we are taking position us to drive improved and consistent financial performance over the long term,” Tracy said. “With our new merchandising initiatives in place and more seasonable November weather, we are already seeing a positive comparable store sales trend and believe we are well-positioned for a successful holiday season.”

The Bon-Ton operates 260 stores, which includes nine furniture galleries and four clearance centers, in 24 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers banners.

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Second Orlando Publix center sells in a week

BY Al Urbanski

Slate Retail, a Canada-based REIT, has acquired Good Homes Plaza in Ocoee, Fla., the second Publix-anchored center to change hands this week in the Orlando metro.

Avison Young’s Florida Capital Markets Group brokered the sale on behalf of the seller, IMC Equity Group, a North Miami-based commercial real estate company owned by Yoram Izhak.

The 165,741-sq.-ft. center boasts a diverse tenant mix that includes a Beall’s Outlet Store and a Pet Supermarket. It is located on Colonial Drive, one of Orlando’s major east/west thoroughfares and a primary commercial artery leading to Downtown Orlando. The retail center serves a substantial population of 248,792 within a 5-mile radius.

“In West Orange County, the retail market has been positively affected by population and tourism growth in the metro area,” said Avison Young’s John K. Crotty.

Earlier this week Phillips Edison announced its acquisition of Winter Springs Town Center, a Publix-anchored that also resides within the Orlando metro area.

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Phillips Edison adds Publix-anchored center in Florida

BY Al Urbanski

One of the nation’s largest owners and operators of grocery-anchored shopping centers got a little bigger this week.

Phillips Edison, which runs more than 300 centers across the U.S., purchased Winter Springs Town Center, a Publix-anchored property outside of Orlando, Fla. The 115,757-sq.-ft. location also includes Zoo Health Club, Subway, UPS, Great Clips, GNC, Quest Diagnostics, and Edward Jones.

Transwestern brokered the deal on behalf of the seller, an unnamed, Dallas-based investment group. The sale price was not released.

“Winter Springs Town Center is a high-profile, institutional-quality retail asset situated within a fast-growing residential community,” observed Transwestern managing director John Bell.

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