The Bon-Ton Turnaround Plans Include Store Closures

The Bon-Ton has released through a public filing a turnaround plan that includes the possibility of shutting more than 40 locations and placing greater emphasis on e-commerce.

In the 8-K filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, company officials said the turnaround plan covers a two-year time frame covering 2018 and 2019. The department store retailer has identified 42 stores for potential closures and one distribution center.

“The store portfolio contains a sizeable portion of poorly performing stores that contribute minimal value to the organization,” the company wrote in the SEC filing. “These stores require an investment of working capital and management attention away from more profitable stores in the chain.”

An additional 20 stores have also been added to a “watch list” and will be monitored for signs of “further deterioration.”

In addition, officials with the retailer said they will also adjust the store’s merchandising mix to include more “wow” products and expand its assortment of “core essentials” while shrinking its selection of seasonal fashion products.

The turnaround plan also includes an enhanced focus on e-commerce. Initiatives include optimizing its assortment breadth and depth by leveraging owned inventory and vendor direct inventory, the need to redefine its e-commerce process and benchmark the business against key competitors to enhance the overall customer experience.