Bon-Ton Stores says it's going out of business


YORK, Pa. The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. is set to close after a winning bid went to liquidators at auction Tuesday, according to a company news release.

The Great American Group LLC and Tiger Capital Group LLC will acquire the inventory and certain other assets of the department store chain, the news release states.

The winning bid will need to be approved by a bankruptcy court Wednesday.

While we are disappointed by this outcome and tried very hard to identify bidders interested in operating the business as a going concern, we are committed to working constructively with the winning bidder to ensure an orderly wind-down of operations that minimizes the impact of this development on our associates, customers, vendors and the communities we serve,” Bon-Ton President and CEO Bill Tracy said in the news release.


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“We are incredibly grateful to all of our associates for their dedicated service to Bon-Ton and to our millions of loyal customers who we have had the pleasure to serve as their hometown store for more than 160 years,” he said in the release.

More details about the liquidation plans and going out-of-business sales will be released after approval by the court, the news release states.

Reuters reported Tuesday night that another retailer might acquire some of the stores and operate them under one of the Bon-Ton names.


The company’s stores include Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s, and Younkers.

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The old downtown Bon-Ton Department store stood at The old downtown Bon-Ton Department store stood at West Market and North Beaver in York, Pa. It was quite a place in its day, the epicenter of the mid-20th-century holiday shopping season’s opening festivities. Today, York County offices fill the renovated structure. The Grumbacher family moved its retail headquarters there in the early 1900s. The following photos tell just part of The Bon-Ton’s storied past, a story that begins in 1898. – Jim McClure  York Daily Record fileFullscreenThe Bon-Ton Dry Goods Store, 22 West Market Street. The Bon-Ton Dry Goods Store, 22 West Market Street. This was before the Dempwolf design landmark store went up. Here’s the story about The Bon-Ton’s early days, courtesy of “Heroes and Builders”: “Samuel Grumbacher’s family arrived in this country from Germany in 1847 when he was 4 years old. They settled in Trenton, N.J., and operated a retail business. Samuel raised his children in the trade, and when the time came, his sons and sons-in-law set out for increasingly prosperous areas in Pennsylvania. They founded dry goods stores. Located in Hazleton, Lebanon, Lancaster and York, each was named the Bon-Ton. On March 10, 1898, Samuel’s son Max Grumbacher opened his small store on the first floor of 22 W. Market St.”  SubmittedFullscreenThe Bon-Ton's trademark building went up in the early The Bon-Ton’s trademark building went up in the early 1900s, designed by the Dempwolfs, noted York architectural firm. It was one of York City’s big 3 department stores in the middle part of the 20th century. York City was the shopping hub of the county in those years.  Bob Steindl, submittedFullscreenMax Samuel "Tom" Grumbacher, who died in 2006, was Max Samuel “Tom” Grumbacher, who died in 2006, was an integral part of his family’s Bon-Ton Department Stores for 65 years. He was the son of Bon-Ton founder Max Grumbacher and his wife, Daisy.  York Daily Record fileFullscreenMementos of The Bon-Ton remain throughout the county. Mementos of The Bon-Ton remain throughout the county. Several years ago, York Daily Record reader Roger Fuller of Yoe shared this photo of a Santa pin from The Bon-Ton. His father worked at the company’s downtown York store.  SubmittedFullscreenThis was a typical scene in the heyday of the Bon-Ton This was a typical scene in the heyday of the Bon-Ton on West Market Street in York. Such scenes – this one courtesy of the York County History Center – spawn memories. ‘When we talk about Bear’s and Bon-Ton, we talk about places to eat and buy beautiful things,’ historian Georg R. Sheets said in 2010. Some might not think about eating and departments stores, but you do in York, Pa.  York County History CenterFullscreenA lamp from the tea room of the former Bon-Ton fepartment A lamp from the tea room of the former Bon-Ton fepartment store when it was at Beaver and Market streets is hung in the entry foyer at 15 S. Newberry St.  Paul Kuehnel, York Daily RecordFullscreenAfter World War II, The Bon-Ton opened retail stores After World War II, The Bon-Ton opened retail stores outside York’s downtown particularly in the 1960s. Here’s one. Jill Redmond, a visual coordinator at the Bon-Ton, assembles Christmas decorations at the company’s store in the York Galleria.  Paul Kuehnel, York Daily RecordFullscreenAnna Leshchinskiy grabs up one of the 3-foot-tall snowmen Anna Leshchinskiy grabs up one of the 3-foot-tall snowmen while shopping with her mother Milana Leshinsky, during the day-after-Christmas sales at The Bon-Ton in the Galleria Mall in 2015.  Jason Plotkin, York Daily RecordFullscreenThe Bon-Ton purchased Pomeroy's in 1987, the first The Bon-Ton purchased Pomeroy’s in 1987, the first of many such acquisitions.  York Daily Record fileFullscreenThe former downtown York Bon-Ton's interior today. The former downtown York Bon-Ton’s interior today. It serves as a county office building, a controversial move by county commissioners in the 1990s. Opponents felt the millions in taxpayer dollars required to renovate it was not warrented.  York Daily Record fileFullscreenHere's another suburban store in the York area: The Here’s another suburban store in the York area: The Bon-Ton at Queensgate Towne Center in York Township. The retail chain grew to two headquarters – in York and Milwaukee – and operates scores of stores under the names of Bon-Ton operates department stores under the brand names Bon-Ton, Boston Store, Bergner’s, Younkers, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman and Herberger’s.  York Daily Record fileFullscreenThe Bon-Ton has been involved with financial restructuring The Bon-Ton has been involved with financial restructuring recently and a recent report indicated that the company was considering closing its York County headquarters. The venerable local landmark will remain in the hearts and minds of York countians. Here’s just one example taking us back to where we started. Autumn House residents are enjoying the velvet-and-gold-trimmed chair that was part of Christmas at The Bon-Ton in York for decades.  York Daily Record fileFullscreenWe're back where we began, but this time, Santa is We’re back where we began, but this time, Santa is seen from above, climbing the ladder to kick off the holiday shopping season.  York County History CenterFullscreenLike this topic? You may also like these photo galleries:ReplayThe old downtown Bon-Ton Department store stood at1 of 14The Bon-Ton Dry Goods Store, 22 West Market Street.2 of 14The Bon-Ton's trademark building went up in the early3 of 14Max Samuel "Tom" Grumbacher, who died in 2006, was4 of 14Mementos of The Bon-Ton remain throughout the county.5 of 14This was a typical scene in the heyday of the Bon-Ton6 of 14A lamp from the tea room of the former Bon-Ton fepartment7 of 14After World War II, The Bon-Ton opened retail stores8 of 14Anna Leshchinskiy grabs up one of the 3-foot-tall snowmen9 of 14The Bon-Ton purchased Pomeroy's in 1987, the first10 of 14The former downtown York Bon-Ton's interior today.11 of 14Here's another suburban store in the York area: The12 of 14The Bon-Ton has been involved with financial restructuring13 of 14We're back where we began, but this time, Santa is14 of 14AutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext Slide