AMES, Iowa-- A Delaware Bankruptcy judge approved the liquidation on Wednesday of Bon-Ton Franchise Younkers; as a result 18 Younkers stores across Iowa are scheduled to close in June.
The company is already moving closer to shutting down. “You can’t use your Younkers card anymore its obsolete", Ames resident Martin Tonsfeldt said.
The Ames location at North Grand Mall along with four in the Des Moines metro, and one in Fort Dodge are among the 18 stores state wide scheduled to close by June 2018.
Younkers hasn't addressed the liquidation, but Iowa state economist Dave Swenson has his own ideas as to why nearly 400 people across Central Iowa could be out of jobs.
“It’s not closing because we are in a recession its closing because it’s not able to compete Younkers closing in a town like Ames or Des Moines or larger markets, it won’t be noticed that much but its harmful to those employed at Younkers," Swenson said.
According to the Iowa Work Force Development there are nearly 2,000 state wide open retail sales jobs this month alone.
"You are going to see an increase in retail jobs and retail establishments over a short period of time the sector won’t notice the loss of Younkers," Swenson said.
Shoppers like Tonsfeldt remain hopeful that strip malls like North Grand will recover.
Bon-Ton says store closing sales start tomorrow.
All stores under the Bon-Ton brand are a part of the liquidation.