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Elder-Beerman hints at comeback following bankruptcy

Customers who loved Elder-Beerman may be in luck, as the longtime Dayton-based department store’s parent company Bon-Ton appears to be relaunching, along with all of its brands.

Elder-Beerman closed all of its stores Wednesday, along with all other Bon-Ton stores shuttering by Friday. The parent company had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February and was unable to secure an investor to continue operating normal business, leading to liquidation beginning in April.

Over the weekend, a message was published on Elder-Beerman’s website saying the company is coming back.

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“We’ve got great news. Elder-Beerman is coming back,” the site reads. “Stay tuned for update over the coming weeks. We appreciate your loyalty and look forward to being able to serve you again soon.”

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Other Bon-Ton brands also have websites with similar messages.

The rights to relaunch the retailer and its subsidiary brands are reportedly close to being acquired, according to the anonymous sources cited in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The new store line would be focused on e-commerce, the Journal Sentinel reported, but would likely also open physical locations in at least Illinois, Colorado, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Former Bon-Ton employees will have the opportunity to restaff all physical locations before jobs open to the public, according to the media report.

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“The company’s intellectual property is in the process of being sold. We cannot speak to the purchaser’s future plans with the company,” said Scott Carpenter, president of retail solutions for the Great American Group, the company that liquidated Bon-Ton’s assets. “All inquiries should be referred to the buyer which will be disclosed once the transaction is closed.”

Elder-Beerman was founded in Dayton 135 years ago. Though the brand may come back online, it’s unlikely that the company will reclaim physical retail locations within the Dayton area. There are no public plans yet for local stores left vacant upon Elder-Beerman’s closure.

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