Bon-Ton to close 40 stores through 2018

The Bon-Ton to close at least 40 stores as net losses deepen

Bon-Ton reports 3Q loss

"This will enable us with moving forward with a more productive store footprint and redirecting capital expenditures toward investments created to drive sales growth", Bon-Ton Stores President and CEO William Tracy said in a news release.

Bon-Ton shares have lost 75 percent of their value this year as it struggled with declining comparable-store sales and slower foot traffic, Bloomberg stated. Bon-Ton has loss $135.4 million overall this year, per the Journal Sentinel. It also has $350 million in outstanding bond debt, which is being watched closely by credit-rating agencies.

The company, which has dual headquarters in Milwaukee and York, Pa., didn't immediately say which stores it plans to close.

"While results in the third quarter fell short of our expectations, we are taking more aggressive actions to fuel improved performance as well as strengthen our financial position", Tracy said in a statement released by Bon-Ton.

Younkers is the last remaining anchor-store at the Wausau Center Mall since the JCPenney and Sears shuttered their Wausau locations.

In addition to Boston Store and Younkers, Bon-Ton operates department stores under the brand names Bergner's, Bon-Ton, Carson's, Elder-Beerman and Herberger's.

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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".

Tracy said the store closing will happen through 2018 as Bon-Ton focused on cost reductions and announcing "profit improvement initiatives".

Looking forward as a result of financial performance in the third quarter, the company now expects fiscal 2017 loss per share to be in a range of $2.86 to $3.35, inclusive of a $0.50 per share expense from the 53rd week, and adjusted EBITDA to be in a range of $100 million to $110 million.

Revenue totaled $545.3 million in the third quarter, down from $589.9 million in the year-ago quarter.

He added that new merchandising initiatives and more seasonable November weather have already improved comp trends.

In September, Bon-Ton hired NY restructuring firm PJT Partners, to look at ways to refinance debt and prepare for a possible bankruptcy filing, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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