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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.  

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» 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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Trump talks up Air Force One design: ‘Top of the line.’

Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 11:22 AM

This Air Force VC-25 Presidential aircraft flies practice approaches into Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in May. This aircraft is one of two VC-25s based on the Boeing 747 and is only referred to as Air Force One when the President is onboard. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
This Air Force VC-25 Presidential aircraft flies practice approaches into Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in May. This aircraft is one of two VC-25s based on the Boeing 747 and is only referred to as Air Force One when the President is onboard. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

President Donald Trump is talking up the planned re-design of Air Force One.

Trump told CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor recently that the new model of the presidential plane will be updated, both within and outside.

RELATEDDeal finalized: $3.9B price tag for two Air Force One airplanes

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“Boeing gave us a good deal. And we were able to take that,” CBS quoted Trump as saying. “But I said, ‘I wonder if we should use the same baby blue colors?’ And we’re not.”

In February this year, the White House and Boeing Co. reached a $3.9 billion informal deal to buy two Boeing 747-8 presidential airlifters.

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That deal was announced more than a year since Trump criticized the cost and threatened to cancel buying a newer version of the Boeing 747.

The program, managed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is led by a two-star general and has about 100 employees in the Presidential Airlift Recapitalization Directorate at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center headquarters.

Trump told CBS that the plane will get more patriotic hues.

“Red, white and blue,” Trump said. “Air Force One is going to be incredible. It’s gonna be the top of the line, the top in the world. And it’s gonna be red, white and blue, which I think is appropriate.”

Any plane carrying the president of the United States is referred to as “Air Force One,” but the name has long become a household moniker for the specific planes that are equipped to transport the commander-in-chief.

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Better contracts, ‘auto ID’ tech help CDO find its groove

Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 8:19 AM

Al Wofford, founder and president of Riverside IT defense contractor CDO Technologies, says landing the right contracts has spurred the company to new growth. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
Thomas Gnau/Staff
Al Wofford, founder and president of Riverside IT defense contractor CDO Technologies, says landing the right contracts has spurred the company to new growth. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF(Thomas Gnau/Staff)

Over the past 24 months, Dayton defense contractor CDO Technologies has seen significant growth.

The information technology and cyber-security company on Springfield Street has grown both its federal and commercial businesses and that’s a strategy Al Wofford, CDO founder and president, intends to keep pursuing.

CDO has “not quite tripled” its number of employees in the past four years. And it’s waiting on contract announcements that could take it to 400 workers by year’s end.

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“We downsized in 2013 to 2014, but now we’re back to probably 320 people,” Wofford said.

Most CDO employees work outside of Dayton, in 19 states, working on everything from “video walls” for an Army command center in Hawaii, Air Force customers in Rome, N.Y., to IT work for the Dayton Dragons.

CDO manages the IT infrastructure for the Air Force Reserve and others. It provides cloud and cyber-security services to Department of Defense clients, not necessarily at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base — which can be easily seen from the window of Wofford’s office — but around the country.

Many of CDO’s employees work for organizations that report back to Wright-Patterson.

CDO’s secret is really no secret. The company is landing more valuable, multiple-job contracts that keep it busier longer.

Contractors have an acronym for these contracts — ID/IQ or “indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity” jobs.

“We’ve developed strategic contracts with the Air Force and the Army,” Wofford said. “And what I mean by ‘strategic contracts’ are those contracts that allow us to execute multiple jobs.”

Land the right ID/IQs — and land enough of them — and you can “secure the growth,” he said.

The company is pursuing the same kinds of contracts with the Navy and the Defense Logistics Agency.

“The policies over the past several years have been small-business friendly,” Wofford said. “I hope the policies going forward stay that way.”

Another big part of the company’s growth: Helping customers keep track of their stuff.

That has meant offering RFID — radio frequency identification — and “auto ID” technology.

“‘Where’s my stuff’ and ‘how do I improve manufacturing’ are the questions answered by these (RFID) products – across all niches, such as manufacturing, services and hospitality,” said Robert Zielinski, CDO director of commercial solutions.

While CDO was born in Riverside in 1995 as a defense contractor, it has stepped into the commercial and education arenas. It has been located on Springfield Street for at least 12 years.

“CDO is helping companies around the world recognize value, and as a native Daytonian it is especially exciting to see greater Miami Valley companies deploy data capture and mobility technologies to improve business,” Zielinski added.

The Dayton area remains a good base for CDO, Wofford said.

“Family, cost of living, convenience to where I want to get to — Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis,” he said. “The region is innovative, and innovation is what drives me.”

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Regional manufacturer plans $4M-plus expansion, 63 new jobs

Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 10:36 AM

Crown Equipment Corp.’s New Bremen headquarters. STAFF/TY GREENLEES
Crown Equipment Corp.’s New Bremen headquarters. STAFF/TY GREENLEES

Forklift and equipment manufacturer Crown Equipment Corp. is planning a more than $4 million expansion at its New Knoxville facility, an application for a building permit indicates.

The expansion at 7587 Ohio 219 will cover 57,460 square feet and is valued at $4,061,037, according to a building permit application filed last month. The expansion is for a “new manufacturing addition.”

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The state of Ohio expects the project in Auglaize County expects to create 63 full-time positions by the year 2021, which will generate $2.5 million in new annual payroll.

Late last month, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved for the project a 1.309 percent tax credit for 6 years. The New Knoxville plant was one of two Crown facilities considered for the expansion, with the other site in Indiana.

MOREBetter contracts help this local defense contractor grow 

Based in New Bremen, Ohio, Crown Equipment designs and makes forklifts, material handling equipment and their components.

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Target offering special deals today after Amazon Prime Day

Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 7:05 AM

Target Announces Promotions To Compete With Prime Day

Target Corp. wants to offer customers more deals after Prime Day.

Target’s one-day sale is for everybody — no membership required. On Tuesday, July 17 only, consumers can save big on dozens of deals across Target.comGuests who spend $100 or more will receive a free six-month membership for same-day delivery, shopped by Shipt.

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Other deals include:

  • 30 percent off Target-exclusive home brands
  • 25 percent off cookware, small appliances and floorcare
  • 25 percent off beauty and personal care
  • Sale on select top toy brands, including Disney Princess, Little Tikes and NERF
  • Spend $20, save $5 on books
  • 30 percent off Target-exclusive kids’ home brands
  • Up to 30 percent off top Google products, including Google Home, Chromecast and more
  • Up to 30 percent off Graco baby gear
  • Free shipping on next-day Target Restock delivery orders on July 17

The retailer also just expanded its “Drive Up” service to 200 additional stores across the Midwest and select other states. Now more than 800 Target stores in 25 states now offer curbside pickup. Nearly 1,000 Target stores will offer the service by the holidays, the company said.

“Drive Up has quickly become one of Target’s most popular pickup options thanks to its speed and convenience, with everything from home essentials to clothing to electronics orders brought out to cars within two minutes of when a guest pulls into the store parking lot,” the retailer stated.

The expansion to new markets will occur in August, the company said.

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