2,200 Wisconsinites will be out of jobs due to Bon-Ton bankruptcy

Posted at 6:10 PM, Apr 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-18 19:10:05-04

2,200 Wisconsinites will soon be out of jobs after Boston Store’s parent company Bon-Ton announced a sale in bankruptcy court to liquidate and close all of its stores.

The Boston Store at Brookfield Square is one of the largest in the country. Employees said more than 200 associates who work there do not know when they will be unemployed.

The end of an era at Boston Store had Susan Schroeder rushing through the doors, wondering if it may be her last time. 

“I shop here all the time,” she said. “I don’t know my go-to store now,” 

Boston Store has been a staple of Brookfield Square Mall since it opened more than 50 years ago. 

“They did have good sales, good coupons and as you can see I’m coming back,” customer Lynn Lagowski said. 

Lagowski has been shopping at Boston Store for decades, but it wasn’t until recently when she realized it was going downhill. 

“I noticed last year already, they didn't have many clerks and you could tell that something was wrong,” Lagowski said. 

On Tuesday, Bon-Ton Stores announced a sale had been approved to a bidder who plans to wind down operations and sell all of its assets.  

“I was really hopeful they would sell to someone who would keep it going, particularly the Brookfield Boston Store which I understand has always been one of the more successful Boston Stores if not the most profitable,” said Brookfield Mayor Steve Ponto. 

Ponto watched closely as the mall recently replaced another anchor store, Sears, with a variety of commercial tenants. He’ll be doing the same with Boston Store as Brookfield Square Mall is the largest taxpayer in Waukesha County. 

“I’m optimistic that we’ll find a very strong replacement,” Ponto said. “It’s a huge space, I could imagine more than one entity going in there.” 

While Lagowski is sad to see her favorite store leave, she’s devastated for the friendly faces inside who will soon be looking for a new job. 

“I think it’s going to be hard for them to find jobs in retail,” Lagowski said. 

TODAY’S TMJ4 reached out to Bon-Ton Stores inquiring on when Wisconsin Boston Stores will officially close. We have not received a response. Boston Store employees have been told the bankruptcy sale is expected to take a few weeks to finalize.