Peru’s Bergner’s is expected to close in the near future.
Two liquidation firms were the highest bidders for Bon-Ton Stores, a chain that includes Bergner’s, on Tuesday.
In a bankruptcy court filing Wednesday, published by Business Insider, Peru’s Bergner’s was on a list of stores that are planned to be liquidated. According to the filing shared, the stores would close by Aug. 31.
Bon-Ton President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Tracy suggested a massive closeout of stores were imminent in a press release Tuesday.
“While we are disappointed by this outcome and tried very hard to identify bidders interested in operating the business as a going concern, we are committed to working constructively with the winning bidder to ensure an orderly wind-down of operations that minimizes the impact of this development on our associates, customers, vendors and the communities we serve,” Tracy said in the statement. “We are incredibly grateful to all of our associates for their dedicated service to Bon-Ton and to our millions of loyal customers who we have had the pleasure to serve as their hometown store for more than 160 years.”
Bergner’s would join the ranks of J.C. Penney and Sears which also have large, vacant spaces at the mall.
Still, Peru’s Economic Director Bob Vickery said “wonderful” new developments are coming to Peru to add to the remaining longstanding businesses in the city.
Vickery said his thoughts go out to the associates and families at Bergner’s, some whom he believes have been there for many years.
“At the same time, we must remember there are still great retail shopping experiences at Peru Mall that we should all support as we go through this transition with (Peru Mall owners) GK Development to bring back Peru Mall to its former grand retail prominence, albeit in a newly stylized shopping experience, which the city of Peru economic development team was working on as recently as (Tuesday),” Vickery said in an emailed statement. “We must remember that Peru Mall’s footprint comprises the single most desirable 48 acres of retail opportunity in North Central Illinois and it will come full circle retail once again.”