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4 Younkers stores in Northeast Wisconsin to close

Younkers store at the Fox River Mall in Grand Chute, January 31, 2018. (WLUK)

(WLUK) -- Four Younkers stores in Northeast Wisconsin will close, parent company The Bon-Ton Stores announced Wednesday.

The four stores in our area are at the Fox River Mall in Grand Chute, the Forest Mall in Fond du Lac, the Lakeshore Edgewater Plaza in Manitowoc and the Pine Tree Mall in Marinette.

"Younkers has been at Fox River since 1986. We are always disappointed to see tenants go, but it is an opportunity for us to bring in new uses for the community," Fox River Mall senior general manager John Burgland said in a statement. "We are not publicly ready to announce what is coming next, but when we are, we’ll be sure to let you know."

The company told state officials the closure of the Fox River Mall store will affect 75 people.

Another five Younkers, Boston Store and Elder-Beerman locations throughout the rest of Wisconsin are also set to close. Wednesday's announcement covers a total of 42 stores, with five locations previously announced.

The closures are part of a plan previously announced last November. The company cited decreasing sales as driving the decision to close stores.

"As part of the comprehensive turnaround plan we announced in November, we are taking the next steps in our efforts to move forward with a more productive store footprint," Bill Tracy, president and chief executive officer for The Bon-Ton Stores, said in a news release. "Including other recently announced store closures, we expect to close a total of 47 stores in early 2018. We remain focused on executing our key initiatives to drive improved performance in an effort to strengthen our capital structure to support the business going forward."

The company said store closing sales were expected to begin Thursday and last for 10-12 weeks.

Employees at the affected stores will be offered the opportunity to interview for available positions at other stores, the company said.

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., operates 260 locations nationwide. Besides the four slated for closure, there are also Younkers stores in Ashwaubenon and Sturgeon Bay, and a Boston Store in Sheboygan Falls.

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