Mall owners team up to buy bankrupt Bon-Ton
The Bon-Ton Stores has been thrown a lifeline.
An investor group made up of two mall owners — Washington Prime Group and Namdar Realty Group — and alternative asset manager DW Partners have signed a letter of intent to acquire the department store as a going concern in a Bankrupt Court-supervised sale process.
In teaming up to save Bon-Ton, the two mall owners would be following in the footsteps of Simon Property Group and General Growth Properties. In fall 2016, the two companies teamed up to buy bankrupt teen apparel retailer Aeropostale. The deal is credited with keeping 229 Aeropostale stores open.
Bon-Ton, which is saddled with about $1.1 billion in debt, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February. In early April, it said it was in “active discussions with interested parties” who may be interested in buying the company, and received approval from its lenders to extend the deadline for submitting qualified bids. An auction is now set for April 16.
“We are pleased to have received this signed letter of intent and are advancing our discussions with the investor group to complete an asset purchase agreement as we proceed toward the court-supervised auction,” said Bill Tracy, president and CEO, Bon-Ton. “With the help of our advisors, we will evaluate all qualified bids and are committed to maximizing value and pursuing the best path forward for the company and our stakeholders.”
Bon-Ton Stores operates 250 stores in 23 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 nameplates.
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Giant Food expanding in home state
Giant Food Stores is making a $70 million capital investment over the next two years in Pennsylvania.
Giant Food Stores said it will construct six new stores, remodel two locations, and open five new fuel stations in the Keystone State. As part of its growth strategy, the company plans to enter the East Stroudsburg and Walnutport communities for the first time.
“This year Giant is celebrating our founding in Pennsylvania 95 years ago, so we’re especially proud to make these new investments in our home state,” said Nicholas Bertram, president, Giant, which has more than 170 neighborhood stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
The East Stroudsburg store and the Walnutport store are both anticipated to open in 2019. Both locations will include new fuel stations. The other new stores will be located in Feasterville-Trevose, opening summer 2018; State College opening late 2018/early 2019; Warrington, opening early 2019; and Broomall, opening late 2019.
In addition to the construction of new stores, three new fuel stations will be built to serve customers in the existing Pennsylvania locations of Lititz, Horsham, and Bethlehem.
The latest investment announcement follows the February completion of a new Peapod wareroom opened in partnership with Giant in North Coventry, Pennsylvania. The wareroom opening was in response to fast-growing delivery and pickup demand, and it will enable Peapod and Giant to serve up to 25% more shoppers in the greater Philadelphia area.
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Nordstrom bets big on the Big Apple
Nordstrom is set to open its first-ever full-line, full-price store in New York City.
The department store retailer will open a 47,000-sq.-ft. dedicated men’s store on April 12, at 57th Street and Broadway in Manhattan. (The site is across the street from a seven-story women’s store the retailer will open in fall 2019.)
Nordstrom’s men’s emporium will seek to combine cutting-edge technology with old-school in-store service, complete with 16 on-staff tailors, reported the New York Times.
The new store will blend online with physical retail. If a customer needs a tie at two in the morning, he can order it online and a Nordstrom employee will meet him at the store’s entrance — no matter the hour, the report said. Also, customers will be able to make returns by simply scanning an item at a digital kiosk and depositing it in a bin — with no staff assistance needed.
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This will end up being the worst decision the company has ever made. This will not save Nordstrom