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Department store chain Bon-Ton Stores Inc. plans to close its three locations in southeast Michigan, officials said this week.

Bon-Ton, which is based in York, Pennsylvania, and Milwaukee, owns and operates 250 stores in 23 states. Its stores operate under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates.

The company said it's permanently closing its Carson's stores in Clinton Township, Livonia and Rochester Hills because the company is in bankruptcy and an investment group is buying its assets. It's also closing a Younkers store in Grandville, which is near Grand Rapids.

The move will affect 688 employees in Michigan, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filed with the state of Michigan on April 9. The first store is expected to be closed June 5.

The breakdown for each location is: 

Officials said the company and the investment group are finalizing the asset sale in advance of an auction that is scheduled for April 16.

“We are ... advancing our discussions with the investor group to complete an asset purchase agreement as we proceed toward the court-supervised auction," Bon-Ton president and CEO Bill Tracy said in a statement. "With the help of our advisors, we will evaluate all qualified bids and are committed to maximizing value and pursuing the best path forward for the company and our stakeholders."

The company announced in February it was seeking bankruptcy protection from its creditors.

It said in January it was closing 42 locations, including three Michigan stores in Adrian, Benton Harbor and Marquette, as part of a store rationalization program.

The retailer is the latest to announce it was shuttering stores in Michigan.

Last month, Toys R Us said it was closing its 740 U.S. stores — including 20 in Michigan — over the coming months.

In January, Walmart said it was closing 63 of its Sam's Club warehouse stores, including one in Farmington Hills and one in Lansing, to better align its locations with the company's strategy.

The same month, Sears Holdings Corp. announced it was shuttering more than 100 stores – including Michigan Kmart stores in Richmond and Greenville – as the struggling department store chain tries to turn around its business. It closed about 250 stores in 2017.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

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