Business

Cedar Rapids Younkers at Westdale to close

It is one of two Iowa stores on a list of closures

File photo of the Younkers in Westdale Mall on Thursday, January, 16, 2014. (Justin Wan/The Gazette)
File photo of the Younkers in Westdale Mall on Thursday, January, 16, 2014. (Justin Wan/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids will lose its Younkers store at Westdale shopping mall this year as its parent company shutters locations around the country.

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. put out a list Wednesday of stores it will close this year after first announcing the move in November.

The stores to be closed include the Westdale Younkers in southwest Cedar Rapids and a Younkers in Cedar Falls. They are the only two Iowa stores scheduled to close.

In total, Bon-Ton said it plans to close 47 stores. Closing sales at those stores are scheduled to start Thursday and run for between 10 and 12 weeks, the company said.

“We would like to thank the loyal customers who have shopped at these locations and express deep gratitude to our team of hardworking associates for their commitment to Bon-Ton and to serving our customers,” Bon-Ton CEO and President Bill Tracy said in a news release.

Westdale General Manager Lisa Rowe said the Younkers closure will not affect the ongoing $90 million redevelopment of the mall. The 100,000-square-foot Younkers was one of two anchor stores — the other is J.C. Penney — that remained in business after Frew Development Group took over the property.

“It’s sad to see anybody go, but we always look at it as an opportunity to get someone fresh and successful into the property,” Rowe said.

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Rowe said Frew has been identifying possible “backfill opportunities” who could take over if a store at Westdale closed, but said she could not name what stores they may be.

“For anybody that could potentially be in trouble, you always have those backfill opportunities in your mind and start working toward those just in case,” she said.

Younkers also operates stores at Lindale Mall in Cedar Rapids and at Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville.

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

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