Bon-Ton closing at least 40 stores next year as sales slump

Bon-Ton closing at least 40 stores next year as sales slump

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. headquarters in downtown Milwaukee.

Bon-Ton, like many other department stores, plans to reduce its physical footprint.

The announcement was made in the release of the company's third quarter results, which were down almost 7 percent. The Company operates through two segments: stores and eCommerce (its Internet Websites).

Bon-Ton plans to close at least 40 stores in 2018 after seeing sales drop more than seven percent in the third quarter, according to USA Today.

The Bon-Ton now operates several stores in the Lehigh Valley, including in the Palmer Park Mall, the Phillipsburg Mall, the Westgate Mall and South Mall.

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Further complicating Bon-Ton's recovery efforts is that the shareholder deficit has increased to $155.9 million in third-quarter 2017 compared to $68.6 million in third-quarter 2016. Advertising support will be tightly focused, primarily utilizing radio and digital media.

The York-based company said in a statement that its results in the third quarter fell short of expectations.

Tracy said the store closures will enable the company to move forward "with a more productive store footprint and redirecting capital expenditures toward investments created to drive sales growth". "We are also focused on cost reductions through the continued rollout of our profit improvement initiatives".

Comparable store sales, an important measure of retail performance, decreased by 6.6 percent year-over-year, which Bon-Ton attributed to unseasonably warm weather. The company manages multiple store brands, Younkers, Boston Store, and Carson's. The business had revenue of $525.46 million during the quarter.

In the third quarter ended October 28, The Bon-Ton had a net loss of $44.9 million ($2.19 a share) compared to a net loss of $31.6 million ($1.58 a share) in the 2016 quarter. (OTCMKTS:BONT) is scheduled to be announcing its earnings results before the market opens on Thursday, November 16th.

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