Company to close at least 40 stores in 2018
Home News Lehigh Valley Berks Area Southeastern PA Poconos and Coal Region Western NJ US World News 69News at Sunrise Inside Your Town Espanol FBI Probe In Case You Missed It Recalls Wanted by Police Missing Persons Get a copy of a news story
Russia says it has successfully tested advanced hypersonic missile
Pilot episode of ‘Franklin Street Station’ filmed in Reading 2 dead after helicopter crashes in NYC’s East River Marine Le Pen wants to rebrand the French nationalist party with a new name What you need to know about the national school walkout
Weather Forecast Hour by Hour Radar School Business Closings Send your weather report Lightning Tracker The Accuweather Channel Lehigh Valley Berks Poconos Coal Region New Jersey Southeastern PA Local Stream River Levels Pocono Mountain Cameras Homework Help Traffic Cameras Alerts Lehigh Valley Traffic Regional Traffic Berks Traffic I 78 Corridor PA 22 Corridor PA Turnpike Weekly Roadwork Pump Picks / Gas Prices Sports Local Scoreboard NHL Scores / Stats AHL Scores / Stats NBA Scores / Stats NCAAB Scores / Stats The Big Ticket NASCAR
Phantoms Beat Devils 5 3
Phillies Reportedly Agree to Deal with Jake Arrieta
State Tournament Schedule for Next Week Anderson, Sasso among local 3A state champs Reading High, NDGP among winners in state hoops Clymer, Haubert win state gold
Video Entertainment Arts Around Town Contests Freddy Awards Music Monday Program Schedule
Oprah’s advice for 2020 candidates
Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ to premiere at SXSW
Oprah’s advice for 2020 candidates Oprah says Parkland activists remind her of civil rights icons ‘Black Panther’ to cross $1B worldwide Rachel Dolezal’s son says he resents some of mom’s choices in documentary
Features History’s Headlines Mr. Food Arts Around Town Food and Recipes Freddy Awards Positive Parenting Life Lessons Health Beat One Tank Trip Talk With Your Doctor The Wisdom Coalition Community Calendar Send us your Photos / Video Send us your Birthday Photos Furry Friends Employment Business Business News Your 2017 Taxes Local Stocks Shop Talk Business Matters Business webcasts About Us Contact us Email Alerts Mobile and Free Apps Employment Where to watch us Program Schedule 69.3 H Schedule 69.4 Retro TV Order a copy of a story Internships Meet The Team About WFMZ TV WFMZ TV 40th Anniversary FCC Public Inspection File Shop Weekly Savings Order a copy of a story Obits SearchBon Ton closing in Schuylkill Mall
YORK, Pa. Bon Ton officials announced Thursday that difficult retail market means the company will be closing dozens of its 260 department stores.
In a gloomy report of third quarter 2017 results, Bon Ton reported a decrease in comparable store sales and an increase in net loss compared to third quarter 2016. The gross margin rate also declined in a sign that the retailer problems continue in an environment that has challenged many similar operations.
As a result, the company plans to close at least 40 stores in the upcoming year, primarily those that are coming off of leases. It not clear which stores the company plans to shutter.
In Berks County, Bon Ton has a store at the Berkshire Mall in Wyomissing, where it serves as one of three anchors. In the Lehigh Valley, Bon Ton operates stores in Salisbury Township, Lehigh County; Palmer Township, Northampton County; Bethlehem; Trexlertown,
Lehigh County; and Richland Township, Bucks County.
Further complicating Bon Ton 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. Cash and cash equivalents increased slightly from $6.9 million to $7.2 million, but the York based company maintains that it continues to have the support of its lenders and vendors so that it can maintain adequate inventories to meet the demands of the upcoming holiday season.
To assist the company in its four point turnaround plan, the company has retained Alix Partners LLP and PJT Partners Inc. to provide operational and financial advisory services. The company plans to continue its aggressive efforts to restore profitability to Bon Ton. Thanksgiving Day. Advertising support will be tightly focused, primarily utilizing radio and digital media.
William Tracy was named president and chief executive officer in August to lead the turnaround.
“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. “We are executing with a sense of urgency as we work to enhance our merchandise assortment, drive growth in omnichannel and implement a more focused marketing strategy to improve traffic and customer engagement. We are also focused on cost reductions through the continued rollout of our profit improvement initiatives.”
Tracy said the store closures will enable the company to move forward “with a more productive store footprint and redirecting capital expenditures toward investments designed to drive sales growth.”
“We are working with our advisors to proactively engage with our debt holders to establish a sustainable capital structure to support the business,” he said. “With our new merchandising initiatives in place and more seasonable November weather, we are already seeing a positive comparable store sales trend and believe we are well positioned for a successful holiday season.”
In another positive trend, the company continued its double digit sales growth in omnichannel, which reflects sales via the company website, mobile site and its “Let Us Find It” customer service program. This was driven by increased demand on both the company e Commerce and mobile platforms during the quarter as the company leveraged its West Jefferson facility and store fulfillment network.
Key financial results in third quarter 2017 include a decrease in comparable store sales of 6.6 percent, while total sales in the period decreased 7.6 percent to $545.3 million, compared with $589.9 million in third quarter 2016.
The gross margin rate in third quarter 2017 declined to 33.1 percent of net sales due to an increase in the markdown rate driven by a shift in merchandise mix. Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization) was negative $5.2 million in third quarter 2017,
inclusive of $2.7 million of professional fees.