Bon-Ton Files For Bankruptcy Protection

Bon-Ton Stores announced yesterday that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company, which operates two locations in Milwaukee and York, Pa. as its headquarters, is currently in talks with potential investors and creditors about a financial restructuring plan. This could include the sale of assets or the sale of existing debt. According to Bon-Ton, it has secured financing of up to $725 millions from existing lenders in order to sustain its operations.

“We will continue to operate in the normal course and execute on our key initiatives for improved performance,” stated CEO Bill Tracy. Bon-Ton Stores operates 260 retail outlets under various banners (Carson’s Elder-Beerman Herberger’s and Younkers). It will continue its recently announced plans for 47 stores to close across the U.S. One store was closed in January and four others are closing. 42 other store closures will take place over the next 10 to 12 weeks.

Total Retail Take: Bon-Ton’s announcement is significant because it marks the biggest retailer to declare bankruptcy in 2018, so far. Bon-Ton was widely expected to be the next retailer bankruptcy. The department store chain reported a disappointing holiday season, despite the fact its peers such as J.C. Penney and Kohl’s reporting strong holiday performance. Bon-Ton is also in debt, as it struggles with growing sales and moving operations online in the age of


Macy’s launches pop-up marketplaces in its stores

Macy’s has announced that it will open pop-up shops within its stores under a new marketplace called “The Market @ Macy’s.” The new storefront layout allows brands and companies to use the Macy’s ground level to promote their products and sell them space. CNBC reports this is to offer Macy’s customers more choice in their shopping and to allow the Cincinnati-based retailer further insight into their preferences. This collaboration gives smaller retailers and brands the chance to have a bricks-and-mortar presence under a legacy brand name. Marc Mastronardi (executive vice president of new and innovative business development at Macy’s), stated that the collaboration is “overwhelmingly attractive” for Macy’s customers and Macy’s. He made this statement to the media. Monday marked the official launch of Market @ Macy’s. It will be available in 10 locations.

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Total Retail’s View: In 2018, collaboration over competition appears to be the prevailing theme in retail. It seems that brand partnerships and pop ups will be more important in the future of retail. This is evident from Kohl’s plans to partner with grocery shops, J.C. Penney’s successful partnership of Sephora pop-up shops within their stores, and Nordstrom’s holiday themed shops. The Market @ Macy’s program would be successful if it thought globally, but did the local thing — making pop-ups unique to their respective cities. This could be the start of a turnaround at Macy’s. Last year, Macy’s was struggling to keep up with digital changes like traditional brick-and mortar retailers.


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