Bon-Ton Bankruptcy Auction Begins

It appears another department store could be going out of business. Bon-Ton's bankruptcy auction got started Monday.

Two mall owners teamed up to make a bid to keep the stores going.According to reports, that bid was not successful.

Reuters reports, the only bidders competing at the Monday start of its court-supervised auction were liquidators.

The Bon-Ton store in the Midway Shopping Center in Wyoming is one of two in Luzerne County and both are like more than 200 others around the northeast and midwest in danger of closing.

One Bon-Ton store in Luzerne County anchors the Wyoming Valley Mall. The other is the only department store at the Midway Shopping Center along Route 11 in Wyoming.

Diane Balent goes there all the time and she's not looking forward to a life without one of her favorite stores.

"I like shopping in there. I like the people. I like the clerks; they're all nice. Some of my friends work here," Balent said.

Balent calls the store convenient, everything she needs under one roof.

But that everything is one of the reasons Mary Ann Kudasik is not a Bon-Ton fan, even though she does shop here.

"I don't like it," Kudasik said. "Everything is too congested. I don't like it."

Darlene Marshall is faced with trips to mall department stores if Bon-Ton goes away.

"Love Bon-Ton. I come here. I used to work here a long time ago, well not a long time ago, a couple of years. Quality of clothes is good. Service is good and we'll miss them if they go," Marshall said.

Then, there is the human toll. Bon-Ton has about 20,000 employees around the country. Headquarters are in two places, Milwaukee Wisconsin, and York, Pennsylvania.

Bon-Ton has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since early February. Financial records show the company hasn't turned a profit since 2010.

Bon-Ton announced in February it's closing dozens of stores including the Susquehanna Valley Mall near Selinsgrove and the Stroud Mall near Stroudsburg.

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