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YORK, PA-Bon-Ton Stores Inc. has revealed a change in two of its Elder-Beerman brand department stores. It is converting the unit at Lakes Mall in Muskegon, MI into a furniture gallery and closing Elder-Beerman Morgantown East in Morgantown, WV.

Conversion and construction of the 52,000-sf furniture gallery in Muskegon will begin in March and is scheduled for completion at the end of July 2008. The Bon-Ton department store chain currently operates a Younkers store at Lakes Mall, which it is retaining, and the new furniture gallery there will operate under the Younkers nameplate.

Bon-Ton acquired the 71,000-sf Elder-Beerman in Morgantown East when it bought the Elder-Beerman company in 2003. The lease at Morgantown East expires on Jan. 31, and will not be renewed.

The parent company “continually reviews the performance of its assets,” says Bud Bergren, Bon-Ton’s president and CEO, in a statement. “Following a review of the Elder-Beerman Morgantown East location, we made the decision to close the store.” Of the Younkers expansion at Lakes Mall, he says, “the addition of the furniture gallery will enhance the total shopping experience for our customers in this market.” The conversion and closing costs are undisclosed.

Locally based Bon-Ton operates 280 stores, including 10 furniture galleries in 23 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson Pirie Scott, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates. In addition, it operates three Parisian brand stores in the Detroit area.

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