When Bon-Ton closes all eight locations in Western New York by the end of August, it will leave another large void in the local retail landscape. For shopping centers such as the McKinley Mall in Blasdell, the loss has the potential to be crippling.
The McKinley Mall, which is operated by Stoltz Management, lost another anchor tenant - Macy's and Macy's Home Furnishings - last year. When York, Pennsylvania-based Bon-Ton goes dark, that will leave Sears and JCPenney as the mall's largest remaining tenants. Both department store chains are facing struggles of their own. Sears has closed hundreds of stores nationwide in recent years, including its locations at the Walden Galleria and Boulevard Mall. JCPenney has closed more than a hundred stores, including its Dunkirk location last year.
"The vacancy there may be enough to push them into some sort of foreclosure or financial disarray," said Buffalo Business First Reporter Jim Fink on the situation at McKinley with the loss of Bon-Ton. Fink has covered real estate in Western New York for years.
Other major tenants at the mall such as Bed Bath and Beyond, Best Buy and Barnes & Noble, are also experiencing financial difficulties as more Americans shift to shopping online.
A spokesperson for Stolz told 7 Eyewitness News it would no comment on the loss of another anchor tenant or any future plans for the Southtowns shopping center.