Bay Park Square Mall Younkers store to close

Younkers Department Store exterior
(WBAY photo)

ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WBAY) - The Younkers store at the Bay Park Square Mall in Ashwaubenon is closing, according to parent company Bon-Ton.

A release from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development says 108 employees will be impacted by the closure.

Bon-Ton says it will start letting workers go on June 5, 2018.

The Bay Park Square location is on a list of 12 Bon-Ton stores across the state that will be shuttered.

Bon-Ton is also closing Younkers stores in Eau Claire and Marshfield; and Boston Stores in Milwaukee, Janesville, Glendale, Racine, Greendale, Brookfield, Madison, and Wauwatosa.

A Bon-Ton corporate office in Milwaukee will also close, impacting more than 700 employees.

In February, Bon-Ton announced it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and was seeking a possible buyer of assets.

On March 30, Bon-Ton announced that it was in active discussions with companies interested in a bid to purchase Bon-Ton.

Bon-Ton said in a news release that it intends to hold an auction on April 9, with sale to be approved by a court on April 13.

In January, Bon-Ton announced it was closing these local Younkers stores: Fox River Mall in Grand Chute; Lakeshore Mall in Manitowoc; Pine Tree Mall in Marinette; Forest Mall in Fond du Lac.

After the initial round of closures, Action 2 News spoke about the economic impact on a mall losing an "anchor" store like Younkers.

Vallari Chandna, an assistant business management professor at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, says years ago if an anchor store closed, the domino effect was widespread. Today, that's no longer the case.

"I think the anchor stores were a big thing a few decades ago. We're definitely seeing this big shift away from anchor stores, and malls are finding ways to deal with it," said Chandna.

Chandna said malls are getting creative to fill the void left by failing stores, some even trying restaurants as anchors.

"Pop up stores, leasing out to gyms, movie theaters, The Container Store tends to buy a lot of space, warehouses, and just dividing the space out into twenty smaller stores," Chandna said. "So a lot of creative approaches that malls can take and have no major loss if the anchor store leaves."



 
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