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Younkers parent company to shutter 40 stores as losses deepen

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Bon-Ton Store officials said Thursday the company will close at least 40 of its 260 stores in 2018, in response to growing losses.

The York-based retailer is the parent company of Younkers, which operates the sole remaining anchor store at Wausau Center mall. In addition to Younkers, the company operates Carson’s, Herberger’s, Elder-Beerman, Boston Store and Bergner’s nameplates throughout the upper Midwest.

There’s no word yet on whether the Wausau store is targeted for closure, as company officials did not specify the locations to go dark.

News of the impending shutdowns follows the closing of seven stores in the past year.

“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. We are executing with a sense of urgency…,” said President and Chief Executive Officer William Tracy in a prepared statement.

With the wave of closings to come, Bon-Ton joins  range of other brick-and-mortar merchants in retrenching under intense pressure from online retailers.

In the third quarter ended Oct. 28, Bon-Ton reported a net loss of $44.9 million ($2.19 a share) compared to a net loss of $31.6 million ($1.58 a share) in the 2016 quarter. Sales plummeted, dropping 7.6 percent to $545.3 million from $589.9 million, according to the company’s earnings report.

The red ink in 2017 to date follows six consecutive years of net losses.

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