Westdale Younkers closure will affect 62 employees

Owner filed for bankruptcy Sunday

Younkers at Westdale as seen from the entrance off of Wiley Blvd. SW in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. Bon-Ton Stores Inc announced on Wednesday that they would be closing the store in southwest Cedar Rapids. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Younkers at Westdale as seen from the entrance off of Wiley Blvd. SW in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. Bon-Ton Stores Inc announced on Wednesday that they would be closing the store in southwest Cedar Rapids. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The closure of the Westdale Younkers store will result in more than 60 people losing their jobs, the company has told Iowa’s workforce agency.

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., which owns Younkers among other store nameplates, announced last week it would close the Cedar Rapids store along with 46 others this year.

A Younkers in Cedar Falls also will close.

When the southwest Cedar Rapids store shuts down, 62 people will lose their jobs, according to a state log of layoffs posted by Iowa Workforce Development. The layoffs will go into effect after closing sales are complete, within 10 to 12 weeks.

Milwaukee-based Bon-Ton is just the latest retailer to announce it will shutter stores. This past weekend, it also became the most recent to file for bankruptcy as department stores and large retailers contend with changing customer behavior and online shopping.

Bon-Ton announced Sunday it would pursue voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy and said it would use the process to explore whether the company should sell itself or certain assets as part of a reorganization.

“We are currently engaged in discussions with potential investors and our debt holders on a financial restructuring plan, and the actions we are taking are intended to give us additional time and financial flexibility to evaluate options for our business,” Bon-Ton President and CEO Bill Tracy said in a news release.

In addition to Younkers, the company also operates stores under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman and Herberger’s names.

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; matthew.patane@thegazette.com

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