*Updated February 6, 2018*

Carson Pirie Scott II, Inc., aka Bon-Ton Stores (“Bon-Ton”), which has dual headquarters in Milwaukee, WI and York, PA, filed on Super Bowl Sunday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, Docket # 18-10248 (MFW).

The regional department store chain operates 260 stores in 24 states, largely in the Northeast and Midwest. Bon-Ton operates stores under its own name as well as: the Boston Store, Carson’s, Younkers, Herberger’s, and Elder-Beerman. Rumblings of a possible filing circulated in early December as the chain watched its holiday sales fall.

Bon-Ton reports that it has a commitment of $725 million for debtor-in-possession (“DIP”) financing to operate during the restructuring process. The company’s business plan, which was filed earlier this week with the SEC, reports it’s main priority is the overhaul of its private-label products, as it plays catch-up with Kohl’s, Macy’s, and J.C. Penney.

NBC News reported that the company said Sunday that it intends to use the Chapter 11 process to “explore potential strategic alternatives” that may include selling all of the company or some of its assets.”

According to bankruptcy filings, the Debtor is seeking a strategic sponsor to invest.  However, if it cannot find such sponsor then it intends to sell all of its assets.  In its pleading, Debtor provides that an auction is contemplated for April 9, 2018, with approval of the bankruptcy court.

If you are a landlord with a Bon-Ton or one if its other stores, it is important to know your rights, now. Stark & Stark’s Shopping Center & Retail Development Group can help. Our bankruptcy attorneys regularly represent landlords throughout the country, including recently in the District of Delaware, Eastern District of Missouri, District of New Jersey, Southern District of New York, District of Minnesota, and Eastern District of Pennsylvania on a variety of issues. Most recently, our Shopping Center Group has represented landlords and trade creditors in the Charming Charlie, Toys R Us, Macaroni Grille, Joe’s Crab Shack, Payless, Eastern Outfitters (EMS Part 2), EMS, Golfsmith, RadioShack, General Wireless (RadioShack Part 2), Gander Mountain, and A&P Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases.

For more information on how Stark & Stark can assist you, please contact Thomas Onder, Shareholder at (609) 219-7458 or tonder@stark-stark.com. Mr. Onder writes regularly on commercial real estate issues and is an active member of ICSC and Chair of the ICSC PA/NJ/DE Conference and Deal Making Show for 2018 in Philadelphia this September.