Lehigh Valley

Allentown Bon-Ton shoppers react to store's closing

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - As hundreds of Bon-Ton stores prepare to close their doors — shoppers at the South Mall in Allentown are preparing to say goodbye.

Many shoppers say news of the shutdown is upsetting but not surprising.

The company filed for bankruptcy back in February.

"They carried the top quality of everything and we're so dominated now by big box stores," said shopper Chris Hornaman.

The Bon-Ton has been at South Mall for decades.

"I think people are upset about the nostalgia factor. Hess's was there before Bon-Ton and then Bon-Ton took over for Hess's," said Rachel Berosh.

Berosh is the assistant mall manager.

She says it's unclear when the store will officially close and what will take its place — but she's optimistic given the Bon-Ton's prime real estate.

"It is located right in front of the mall, right facing Lehigh Street so it could give us a chance for a new demographic and some new customers," she said.

Liquidation firms Great American Group and Tiger Capital Group were the winners of an auction this week.

Bon-Ton's president says the company is disappointed by the outcome but is committed to "working constructively with the winning bidder to ensure an orderly wind down of operations on our associates, customers, vendors and the communities we serve."

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