YORK, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:BONT) today announced it has signed a lease with Duke Realty Corp (NYSE: DRE) for a 743,000 square-foot highly automated direct-to-consumer fulfillment center in West Jefferson, Ohio to support its growing ecommerce operations. The Company anticipates the facility to be fully operational and ship its first orders in spring of 2015.
The new facility will consolidate the ecommerce fulfillment that is currently being performed at the Company’s four distribution centers. When fully operational, the fulfillment center will employ approximately 139 net new Ohio associates, with additional seasonal jobs expected to be created during the peak holiday shopping season.
Brendan Hoffman, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “In response to the rapid growth in our ecommerce business, we are taking this step to ensure extraordinary service to our customers. This new fulfillment center will permit significant expansion of our shipping capacity with improved operational efficiency. We appreciate the partnership with JobsOhio, Columbus 2020 and Madison County Economic Development and believe this is a great location in the heart of the regions in which we operate.”
“Bon-Ton is making a significant investment in West Jefferson and the Columbus Region with this dedicated fulfillment center,” said David Kell, Director, Madison County Economic Development. “The company’s decision to put down roots in Central Ohio is a testament to the region’s distribution strength and strategic location for shipping goods to key customer areas and further enhances the Columbus region’s strong stable of ecommerce operations.”
The consolidation will impact associates involved in the direct-to-consumer fulfillment at the Company’s four distribution centers. Affected associates will be offered the opportunity to interview for available positions at the new West Jefferson facility or receive career transition benefits, including severance, according to established practices and state employment service support. The Company does not expect that the combined severance and other expenses associated with the consolidation, which it expects to incur over the next 16 months, will be material.
The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., with corporate headquarters in York, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, operates 270 department stores, which includes 10 furniture galleries, in 25 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates. The stores offer a broad assortment of national and private brand fashion apparel and accessories for women, men and children, as well as cosmetics and home furnishings. For further information, please visit the investor relations section of the Company’s website at http://investors.bonton.com.
Certain information included in this press release contains statements that are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, which may be identified by words such as “may,” “could,” “will,” “plan,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “project,” “intend” or other similar expressions, involve important risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect results in the future and, accordingly, such results may differ from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of the Company. Factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to: risks related to retail businesses generally; a significant and prolonged deterioration of general economic conditions which could negatively impact the Company in a number of ways, including the potential write-down of the current valuation of intangible assets and deferred taxes; risks related to the Company’s proprietary credit card program; potential increases in pension obligations; consumer spending patterns, debt levels, and the availability and cost of consumer credit; additional competition from existing and new competitors; inflation; deflation; changes in the costs of fuel and other energy and transportation costs; weather conditions that could negatively impact sales; uncertainties associated with expanding or remodeling existing stores; the ability to attract and retain qualified management; the dependence upon relationships with vendors and their factors; a data security breach or system failure; the ability to reduce or control SG&A expenses, including initiatives to reduce expenses and improve efficiency; operational disruptions; unsuccessful marketing initiatives; changes in, or the failure to successfully implement our key strategies, including initiatives to improve our merchandising, marketing and operations; adverse outcomes in litigation; the incurrence of unplanned capital expenditures; the ability to obtain financing for working capital, capital expenditures and general corporate purpose; the impact of regulatory requirements including the Health Care Reform Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; the inability or limitations on the Company’s ability to favorably adjust the valuation allowance on deferred tax assets; and the financial condition of mall operators. Additional factors that could cause the Company’s actual results to differ from those contained in these forward-looking statements are discussed in greater detail under Item 1A of the Company’s Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.