breaking news

breaking news

REPORT: Elder-Beerman going out of business; all stores to close in 10 to 12 weeks

Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 @ 8:24 AM
Updated: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 @ 5:06 PM

Elder-Beerman warns of layoffs at Dayton Mall store

As Bon-Ton Stores Inc. heads for liquidation, local officials are bracing for employment loss and empty tenant spaces at Elder-Beerman locations at area malls and shopping centers. 

Only two bids from liquidators were submitted at the bankruptcy auction Tuesday for Bon-Ton Stores Inc., the parent company of Elder-Beerman, according to Reuters. Elder-Beerman employs hundreds in the Dayton region, with stores at multiple shopping centers and a distribution center in Fairborn. 

 Seeking Alpha, an investment analyst website, reported Bon-Ton CEO William Tracy sent a letter to employees late Tuesday that said the company will begin an orderly wind-down of operations following the liquidation process.  

» MORE: The rise and fall of Elder-Beerman: A timeline of Dayton’s dying store

Bon-Ton executives, who hoped a buyer would turn around the future of the company, would not comment on the future of the company 

 A hearing will be held on Wednesday during which Bon-Ton officials will ask the bankruptcy court to approve the sale of the company to a liquidator, according to Seeking Alpha. Stores are expected to close within 10 to 12 weeks. 

Bon-Ton had been working with U.S. mall owners Washington Prime Group Inc. and Namdar Realty Group to secure a bid that would have kept open a large portion of Bon-Ton locations. It would’ve benefited the mall groups as Bon-Ton Stores are major tenants for both companies. Washington Prime owns both the Dayton Mall and the Mall at Fairfield Commons.

 » RELATED: Elder-Beerman has rich history in Dayton

 Chris Kershner, executive vice president of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, said Bon-Ton’s liquidation is reflective of retail changes happening across the country. Despite economic planning and a diverse retail landscape, a national retailer’s demise is beyond anything local malls can salvage, he said. 

 “That’s pretty difficult,” he said. “It’s much greater than Dayton. Certainly losing Elder-Beerman and their presence, those jobs, will have an impact. I would say we have, as a community, already made an effort to revitalize some of our mall areas.” 

 Most Elder-Beerman stores are located within local malls, so closures would have a detrimental effect on multiple shopping centers. Elder-Beerman has stores in Piqua, Huber Heights, the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek, the Kettering Towne Center, among others in Ohio. The stores employ hundreds of workers in the region. 

 The liquidation would also impact the distribution center in Fairborn. About 96 employees work at the facility, and Bon-Ton leases the facility. The closure “could definitely have a ripple effect and an impact all the way down to small businesses” and families, Matt Owen, executive director of the Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce, told this news organization in January. 

 “There’s no doubt that if that became a future empty site, we would work extremely hard at attracting a new business there,” Owen said. 

 Even before it was clear Bon-Ton was headed for liquidation, the Dayton region has already felt the blow of losing Elder-Beerman. The company sent out a 60-day notice on Friday warning of layoffs that could start June 5 for the 122 jobs at the Dayton Mall store and 330 positions at the Bon-Ton fulfillment center in West Jefferson. 

 Plans are already underway to re-brand the Dayton Mall and the surrounding area as the Miami Crossing District, Chris Snyder, board member with the Miami Twp.-Dayton Mall Joint Economic Development District, told this news organization last year, told this news organization last year. 

 The district would include 2.2 square-miles around the Dayton Mall, which already includes more than 400 businesses, 3.7 million square-feet of retail space and 200,000 square feet of restaurant space. Miami Twp. and Miamisburg adopted a master plan for the district that calls for more than $200 million to be invested which would result in new landscaping and redesigned outdoor spaces. 

 Around one-third of U.S. malls are projected to close in the next few years. Elder-Beerman isn’t the only retailer abruptly shutting down stores. Toys “R” Us is also in the process of liquidating all of its stores, after voluntarily filing for relief under Chapter 11, in September 2017. 

 Approximately 31,000 Toys “R” Us employees will ultimately be laid off due to the store closings. The retailer has locations in Miami Twp. and Beavercreek. 

 The company and its subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for a court-supervised financial restructuring under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in early February. The company’s stores also include Carson’s, Younkers, Bergner’s, Boston Store, and Herberger’s, as well as Bon-Ton.


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500 people from two local companies inspect fan blades after fatal accident

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 8:52 AM

A CFM56 engine built by CFM International in West Chester Twp. is readied for installation on the A320 final assembly line at an Airbus factory in this 2014 photo. CONTRIBUTED.
A CFM56 engine built by CFM International in West Chester Twp. is readied for installation on the A320 final assembly line at an Airbus factory in this 2014 photo. CONTRIBUTED.

The aircraft engine made by a company based in the greater Cincinnati area, CFM International, is getting increasing scrutiny.

CFM late last week issued a new service bulletin to operators of CFM56-7B engines, which power the Boeing Next-Generation 737. It calls for inspections of fan blades on engines that have been in service for a long time.

Some 500 people tied to CFM and GE Aviation are involved in the inspection work.

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The European Aviation Safety Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration have each issued emergency airworthiness directives calling for inspections of fan blades on CFM56-7B engines.

This has wide ramifications.

Southwest Airlines is cancelling about one percent of its flights due to the need for inspections. About 40 flights have been impacted, a media report said.

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Last week, an affected Southwest Boeing 737 took off Tuesday from New York, headed for Dallas. About 20 minutes into the flight, at an altitude of about 32,500 feet, a fan blade broke off the engine and shrapnel shattered a window.

A passenger on that flight, Jennifer Riordan, 43, was sucked part of the way out of the broken window and pulled back inside by fellow passengers.

RELATED: UDRI tests durability of aircraft engine casings

The engine in question is assembled in the GE-Evendale plant and by Safran (previously Snecma )in Villaroche, France.

CFM, which has offices in West Chester Twp., is a joint venture of French firm Safran and GE.

Jamie Jewell, a GE Aviation spokeswoman, said the CFM engine has been in service since 1997 and production has been gradually phasing out as GE and CFM ramp-up introduction of the new LEAP engine.

"None of that is as a result of SWA (Southwest Airlines) incident," Jewell said in an email.

The engine's fan blade is produced by Safran, but the National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation. Jewell said the companies do not expect to rely on the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) for any post-accident engine component testing at this time.

UDRI is involved in testing of engine casings or housings to help determine how durable those components are. 

CFM sent a team of technical representatives to the site to assist NTSB and government investigators in their probe of what happened on the Southwest flight.

Citing international conventions governing these investigations, Jewell said she can't comment on whether any causes have been identified in the Southwest accident.   

"The NTSB is leading the accident investigation according to the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) Annex 13 rules, and CFM cannot provide information about the accident or details related to it," Jewell said. 

However, she said GE and Safran have about 500 experts supporting the inspections.

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Dayton Mall Applebee’s property sold

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 1:03 PM

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file

A Miami Twp. Applebee’s Grill and Bar restaurant property has sold for nearly $1.64 million, Montgomery County property records show.

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The transaction happened Monday, with AP Dayton LLC buying the 105 N. Springboro Pike property from Cypress Grove Holdings for $1.638 million, records show.

MORE500 experts from two regional companies inspect fan blades after fatal accident. 

The restaurant is on 1.07 acres.

The restaurant is open and continues to operate, although in recent months, other Dayton Mall area eateries have closed, including Cena Brazilian Steakhouse, TGI Friday’s, Ruby Tuesday and others.

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Sears CEO offers tentative deal to buy Kenmore, real estate assets

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 10:45 AM

More Than 100 Sears and Kmart Stores Closing

Sears shares are jumping after CEO Eddie Lampert offered to buy one of its units through his hedge fund, ESL Investments.

In a letter to the company’s board of directors, Lampert said he would buy the unit through his hedge fund. The letter notes that Kenmore, SHIP and PartsDirect have substantial value and that divesting one or more of them would enable the company to improve its debt profile and liquidity position, according to a company statement.

Shares rose more than 5 percent to $3.39 a share after the offer became known. The move would downsize Sears significantly, but it would also help stabilize the financially struggling company.

» TRENDING BUSINESS NEWS: Sears to close another store in Ohio

Lampert gave a rare interview to Vanity Fair last month — the first in-depth sit down with the leader in about 15 years. Lampert, who was interviewed in his home in Florida, talked about the company’s future and his past business decisions.

“We’re fighting to survive — that’s pretty clear,” Lampert told Vanity Fair. “I believe in what’s possible, and we’re doing things that are necessary to keep the company going …. It’s definitely not just humbled me, but it’s expanded my awareness of real issues that exist in our society…. I feel like I can make a contribution by being involved, O.K.?”


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Dayton homes sales march on in March

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 10:35 AM


Sales of single-family and condominiums reported in March by Dayton Realtors totaled 1,288, the highest monthly sales so far in 2018, according to Dayton Realtors.

“These sales figures couldn’t top last March’s numbers though, dropping one percent and missing the mark by just thirteen sales,” the association of local Realtors said in a release.

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But the first three months overall of the year saw increases over the previous year in prices and sales compared to last year.

Sales volume generated by March’s activity totaled $195 million, leading to an average sale price of $151,537 and a median sale price of $130,000.

“All these figures were nearly identical to last year, with the median price hitting the exact same mark as March 2017,” the group said.

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Through March, sales reached 3,042, about a one percent improvement from 2017 when 3,020 transactions occurred over the same three months.

Sales volume was put at $457 million in sales transactions so far, a jump of more four percent from 2017.

The average sale price year-to date stood at $150,378 and represented a four percent increase over 2017’s year-to-date numbers. The median sale price also grew, from $126,825 in 2017 to $128,300 through March 2018, a one percent increase.

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Inventory remains a challenge, however. There were 1,877 new listings added in March, down from last year’s 1,961, and year-to-date listings saw 4,608 listings, a decrease of four percent from the figures submitted through March of 2017.

The overall inventory of single-family and condominium listings showed 3,785 available at month’s end, which represented a supply of 2.9 months based on March’s pace of sales.

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