‘I’m not dead yet’ – Once popular retailers may be returning

Some of your favorite retailers are returning from the dead. (Deposit photo)

Just in time for Halloween some favorite retailers are coming back from the dead.

Shoppers may have believed they had paid their final respects to stores like the Bon-Ton and Toys R Us, but they were wrong.

After being sent to the grave of bankruptcy, new buyers have come in to resurrect those two stores as well as some other recently closed retailers.

While they likely won’t be gray, groaning or trying to eat your brains, the brands may come back different than you remember. For starters, Bon-Ton is coming back to life starting as an online only store — at least for now.

A subsidiary of CSC Generation Holdings Inc. has re-launched Bon-Ton and some of its sister stores, like Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers.

While store’s like Bon-Ton may have had financial difficulties in a changing retail landscape, they still had their fans, and the new buyers know that.

“Over the last 120 years, Bon-Ton has touched the lives of tens of millions of Americans,” said Jordan Voloshin, co-president of CSC Generation in a press release. “We couldn’t be more excited by the opportunity to continue the company’s legacy.”

But while you can only buy your Bon-Ton booty online for now, CSC Generation is calling the Aug. 29 store closures “temporary” and vows their return.

Voloshin said the company is in advanced discussions with landlords about reopening stores in a number of states, including Pennsylvania, and will be trying to bring back your familiar faces by recruiting former Bon-Ton associates, from customer service to merchandising.

Voloshin said the difference that customers will find is the company’s effort to create a more modern shopping experience tailored to the more modern customer.

“Stores will serve as an extension of e-commerce, with extended hours from Thursday to Sunday and fewer hours during the workweek,” he said. “Additional services – ranging from personal styling to interior design – will be provided in store and online, as well as more flexible ways to pay through Bon-Ton’s new store card and lease-to-own service.”

It also looks like Toys R Us is stirring in its grave as well.

Multiple news sources are reporting that a group of investors are planning to bring back a new and re-imagined version of the once popular toy store giant, which closed in June of this year.

It’s not entirely good will. It seems, they determined, they might do better reviving the chain than by selling it off “for parts.”

Still it’s sure to make a lot of kids – of all ages – pretty happy to see those aisles brimming with toys once again.

Oh, and it’s not the only toy store that looks like it’s making a comeback. Apparently, after being closed for about two years, New York’s famous FAO Schwarz is also poised for a return to the city’s midtown.

According to the Commercial Observer, the brand’s new location at 30 Rockerfeller Plaza, will open next year.

It will be a bit smaller though. The reports say it will be 19,000 square feet, which is under a third the size of the 61,000 square feet of space it had in its old digs in the GM building.

So now that we’ve got the mojo going to resurrect some of our favorite former stores, what can we bring back next, Leh’s? Hess’s?

Oh to have some of that strawberry pie again!

Come on you corporate witch doctors, get on it!

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