Bon-Ton is making a comeback.
After filing for bankruptcy and closing all of its more than 200 stores in 2018, the century-old retailer will relaunch its e-commerce site this summer, followed by a brick-and-mortar location in February 2023.
BrandX, a company founded in 2021 by brothers Deepak and Kamal Ramani, is behind the relaunch. In 2021, the company purchased Bon-Ton and six other nameplates – Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s, and Younkers – from CSC Generation, which had a similar plan to revitalize the retailer that never materialized.
And in early 2022, BrandX acquired the assets of Stage Stores and its other nameplates like Peebles and Gordmans – which met a similar fate as Bon-Ton when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2020.
BrandX now owns the intellectual property for 12 nameplates that had at one point operated 1,076 stores in 45 states. The purchase also includes 22 private brands including Breckenridge, Cuddle Bear, Ivy Crew, Valerie Stevens and Wishful Park, as well as data on 13.1 million customers.
Details of the purchases were not disclosed.
According to BrandX, it is re-establishing Bon-Ton and Stage Stores, along with the related nameplates, in regions where they once flourished. Each nameplate will retain its own unique name and brand identity that local shoppers recognize and have enjoyed, BrandX said.
BonTon.com’s summer 2022 launch will feature women’s, men’s, home & furniture, and accessories departments, with kids’ arriving in time for the back-to-school season, BrandX added.
In February 2023, BrandX plans to open the first brick-and-mortar location, re-emerging as a Carson’s store in the Louis Joliet Mall in Joliet, Ill., a Chicago suburb, with plans to open additional brick-and-mortar stores in strategic locations throughout 2023.
“Our mission is to serve local communities by delivering quality, service, and style to our customers,” said BrandX president and CEO Deepak Ramani. “This is as much about local destination shopping as it is about online shopping.”
BrandX added in a statement that it’s set to build upon Bon-Ton’s and Stage Stores’ pre-pandemic business and introduce shoppers to updated product assortments from popular brands, as well as exciting new additions.
The company said it has hired a merchant team consisting of industry veterans from Calvin Klein, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Tommy Hilfiger, among others to make this happen.