BLOOMINGTON — Retailer Bon-Ton announced Wednesday that it plans to close more than 40 nationwide locations — including six Carson’s stores and one Bergner’s in Illinois.
The Bergner's store at Eastland Mall is not on a new list of store closures announced by The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., but the store at Peoria's Sheridan Village will close.
It is among the locations that will be closed as part of a Bon-Ton plan announced in November.
Bon-Ton also plans to close six other stores in Illinois, including Carson's outlets in Aurora, Chicago, Danville, DeKalb, Morton Grove and Schaumburg.
"Bergner’s continues to see strong demand at Eastland Mall and will complement the new offerings recently announced as part of the redevelopment of the former J.C. Penney store," said Stacey Keating, spokeswoman for CBL Properties, which owns the Bloomington shopping center.
Part of the former Penney's store will be filled by Planet Fitness and family clothing retailer H&M. Outback Steakhouse also will move from the Lakewood Plaza shopping center to a new building being constructed at the mall.
CBL is still evaluating plans for the former Macy’s anchor space.
Meanwhile, Bon-Ton officials said the closures will help the company become more nimble.
“As part of the comprehensive turnaround plan ... we are taking the next steps in our efforts to move forward with a more productive store footprint,” said Bill Tracy, president and chief executive officer for The Bon-Ton Stores. “Including other recently announced store closures, we expect to close a total of 47 stores in early 2018. We remain focused on executing our key initiatives to drive improved performance in an effort to strengthen our capital structure to support the business going forward.”
Bon-Ton has partnered with a third-party liquidator, Hilco Merchant Resources, to help manage the store closing sales. The sales are scheduled to begin Thursday and run about 10 to 12 weeks.
Associates at closing locations will be offered the opportunity to interview for available positions at other stores.
The closing locations are in addition to five other recently announced store closures, four of which the company completed at the end of January and one at which the company will conclude its closing sale in February.