UPDATE: Corporate officials tells News 18 that the announced closure of the Eau Claire Younkers store, and 12 other Bon-Ton owned stores in Wisconsin, might not happen.
News 18 spoke with Christine Hojnacki, the VP of Public Relations for Bon-Ton. She says the company, which filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection on February 11, is in discussions to be acquired in a court-supervised sale. Because of that, they are required by law to give notice of closures, in case that sale does not go through.
The company released the following statement on the move:
"We are required to provide notification under certain state and federal laws of potential job losses even as we work diligently to complete a sale of the Company as a going concern. Bon-Ton is in active discussions with an investor group to acquire the Company in a court-supervised sale process. We are encouraged by the interest in Bon-Ton and we hope that jobs will be preserved through a sale process. We remain committed to pursuing the best path forward for the Company and its stakeholders, including Bon-Ton associates.”
Hojnacki said the company was also required by law to provide 60 day notice of any potential layoffs, which they put as June 5 in their filing to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. However, Hojnacki said there are currently no plans to start laying off the 93 employees at the Eau Claire Younkers at that time.
Eau Claire (WQOW) - The Younkers Department Store in Eau Claire is closing.
Bon-Ton Stores, Younkers' parent company, announced the closure of 12 stores today, including the Eau Claire Younkers at the Oakwood Mall. The closure is expected to be permanent.
Layoffs could begin as soon as June 5, and 93 Eau Claire employees will lose their jobs, according to a notice filed with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. Layoffs could take several months.
An exact closing date is not known, and the company says the timetable for closing is subject to change.
Bon-Ton filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection on February 11.