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Piqua-based Hartzell Propeller enters deal with Chinese university

Published: Monday, July 17, 2017 @ 11:37 AM

Machinist Mark Williams prepares to grind a propeller in the Hartzell Propeller factory in Piqua. The 99-year-old business produces more than 10,000 blades each year. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Machinist Mark Williams prepares to grind a propeller in the Hartzell Propeller factory in Piqua. The 99-year-old business produces more than 10,000 blades each year. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Piqua-headquartered Hartzell Propeller has added a service and support center in China, the company announced.

Hartzell appointed the Aircraft Repair and Overhaul Plant of Civil Aviation Flight University of China (CAFUC) as the service and support center. Located in Guanghan City, CAFUC has 110 employees who perform maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft, engines, propellers and components.

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The partnership with CAFUC gives Hartzell additional in-country service and support capability, the company said. Hartzell has completed translations of propeller owner manuals into Mandarin for the most popular turboprop and piston-powered aircraft flying in China.

“This latest appointment demonstrates Hartzell Propeller’s ongoing commitment to Chinese owners, operators, maintenance facilities and the continued growth of general aviation in China,” said Weiqing (Max) Wang, Hartzell Propeller managing director for China, based in Shanghai City.

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CAFUC is the largest civil aviation university in Asia and the one of the world’s largest flight training institutions. It is responsible for operating and maintaining the largest fleet of propeller driven aircraft in China. CAFUC also has pilot training facilities at five airports located in the Henan and Sichuan Provinces of China.

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Farewell Elder-Beerman. Share your memories about the closing retailer

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 12:43 PM

Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. announced Nov. 2, 2016, that it will close its Elder-Beerman store in Towne Mall Galleria in Middletown at the end of January.

It’s official: Elder-Beerman’s parent company is headed for liquidation.

Bon-Ton Stores Inc. officials announced a joint bidder, including a group of the bankrupt retail chain’s bondholders, won an auction for the company’s asset.

The retailer, established 135-years-ago in Dayton and the city’s last hometown department store, will liquidate all stores. What are your memories associated with the well-known retailer? The Dayton Daily News wants to hear your story.

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Elder-Beerman store closings: Everything we know now about local impact

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 9:15 AM

Elder-Beerman warns of layoffs at Dayton Mall store

After several last ditch attempts to save one of America’s oldest retailers, Bon-Ton Stores Inc. joined the ranks of companies that have succumbed to the retail apocalypse.

Bon-Ton Stores Inc. officials announced on Wednesday morning that a joint bidder, including a group of the bankrupt retail chain’s bondholders, won the auction for the company’s asset — signaling the start of the liquidation process for stores.

» CONTINUED COVERAGE: 15 memories at Elder-Beerman that influenced your lives

Company employees were told they will lose their jobs and that all 212 Bon-Ton stores, including local Elder-Beerman locations, will close — with going-out-business sales starting imminently. Great American Group and Tiger Capital Group —and the holders of Bon-Ton’s second-lien secured notes will acquire the retailer’s inventory and certain other assets, Bon-Ton said in a statement.

Here’s what we know today:

1. BANKRUPTCY HEARING A bankruptcy court hearing to approve the venture and wind down Bon-Ton operations occurred on Wednesday.

The bondholder group has wanted all Bon-Ton stores to close since the beginning of the bankruptcy process. Bon-Ton employs about 24,000 people, including hundreds in the Dayton region. The company operates roughly 250 stores in 23 states under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers brands.

“While we are disappointed by this outcome and tried very hard to identify bidders interested in operating the business as a going concern, we are committed to working constructively with the winning bidder to ensure an orderly wind-down of operations that minimizes the impact of this development on our associates, customers, vendors and the communities we serve,” said Bill Tracy, Bon-Ton’s CEO.

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

2. SAD CUSTOMERS Some shoppers were disappointed by the closings. Now, consumers are looking for other options for their shopping. Alyssa Mitterholzer, a Centerville resident, said online shopping is killing off what’s left of traditional brick-and-mortar stores. More than 12,000 stores are expected to close in 2018 — up from roughly 9,000 in 2017, according to Cushman & Wakefield, a marketing and data analysis firm.

“I mean it’s kind of depressing, actually. I’ve been a long-time shopper at Elder Beerman,” she said.

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.

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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.

3. LOCAL IMPACT Most Elder-Beerman stores are located within local malls, so closures could 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.

Miami Valley Centre Mall officials said the closure and liquidation of all Bon-Ton stores is disappointing for the local shopping center. “As owners of the mall since 1993 we have seen many changes in retail both locally and nationally. The Mid-America Management Corporation’s commitment to the mall and the city of Piqua remains as strong as ever,” the mall group said in a statement.

The Dayton Mall was busy on Tuesday afternoon. Shoppers have flooded area stores and malls returning unwanted gifts they received this holiday season. Most stores have made it an easy task, but others have made it difficult for a reason. According to the National Retail Federation’s latest Return Fraud Survey, retailers estimate that 3.5 percent of their holiday returns this year will be fraudulent, up slightly from the estimated 3 percent reported last year. Holiday return fraud is expected to cost retailers $2.2 billion, up from approximately $1.9 billion last year.. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Staff Writer)

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4. FAIRBORN PREPARES FOR CENTER CLOSING The liquidation will also impact the distribution center in Fairborn. About 96 employees work at the facility, and Bon-Ton leases the facility. Matt Owen, executive director of the Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce, told this news organization that the liquidation wasn’t a surprise to the community.

“We’ll have some workers out of work, and it will definitely affect some families in our region,” he said. “We’re really resilient. We’ve been through this before with Delphi and GM and NCR, and we do a good job of getting our workers back to work.”

5. HISTORY OF ELDER-BEERMAN IN DAYTON Elder-Beerman has a deep-rooted presence in the Miami Valley — and it can be traced back to another store, Boston Dry Goods, in 1883. The Boston Dry Goods store was opened by Thomas Elder, William Hunter, Jr. and Russell Johnston on East Third Street in the early 1880s. It sold textiles, clothing and groceries, and it later became the Elder & Johnston Co.

In 1962, Dayton businessman Arthur Beerman, who had opened two Beermans for Bargains junior department stores in 1950, merged his store with the Elder & Johnston Co. During the 1960s the Elder-Beerman Co. opened numerous department stores in the region, including Hamilton and Richmond, Ind.

The company continued to expand, acquiring department stores in Michigan, Illinois and Kentucky. In 1993, the 50th store opened at the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek. In 2003, Elder-Beerman was acquired by Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.

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Pier 1 Imports to close up to 25 stores

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 11:25 AM



Getty Images
(Getty Images)

Pier 1 Imports Inc. will close up to 25 stores in the next two years, the company announced during its quarterly earnings call.

Net sales decreased 1.4 percent to $469.2 million, according to a company statement. Alasdair James, president and CEO, said the company’s financial performance was impacted by the hurricanes in Texas and Florida. E-commerce sales reached 26 percent.

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“We saw improved sales in November, including a solid Black Friday weekend, driven by our strong promotional message. However, overall trends dropped considerably during the first two weeks of December,” he said.

During the third quarter of fiscal 2018, the company closed one store. The company expects to close a total of approximately 17 stores in fiscal 2018, and up to 25 in the next “couple years.”

Pier 1 Imports has locations at the Mad River Station Shopping Center in Centerville and another at the Beavercreek Towne Center. It also has a location at the Voice of America Center in West Chester Twp. Closing locations have not been announced yet.

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Dayton office market sees first occupancy loss in two years

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 8:20 AM

An aerial view of downtown Dayton with the Great Miami River, from 2005. TY GREENLEES/STAFF
An aerial view of downtown Dayton with the Great Miami River, from 2005. TY GREENLEES/STAFF

There were bright spots in the Dayton-area office market in the first quarter of the year, even as occupancy overall fell.

A defense contractor signed a lease for office space in Fairborn in the first quarter of 2018.

Aptima signed a lease for just over 11,000 square feet at 2555 University Drive in Fairborn, according to a recent real estate report.

Aptima also has locations in Arlington, Va., Woburn, Mass., and Orlando, Fla.

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Rob Anderson, Fairborn city manager, called Aptima’s presence in the city “good news.”

“The city did not provide any incentive to Aptima, but we’re glad to have them,” Anderson said.

A message seeking comment was sent to Aptima.

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The quarterly office market report from Colliers International recorded other noteworthy Dayton-area leases, including defense contractor Matrix Research leasing 53,000 square feet in new construction at Miami Valley Research Park, and health care products company Midmark Corp. leasing 12,000 square feet, also in new construction, at Austin Landing in Miami Twp.

Currently, Midmark is headquartered at the University of Dayton’s River Campus.

However, the first quarter overall was a tough one for the Dayton office market.

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After eight straight quarters of positive net absorption, the Dayton office market recorded a loss in occupancy of 81,843 square feet during the first quarter of 2018, the Colliers International report said. (Net absorption, a key real estate metric, measures total new square footage leased minus the square footage no longer occupied by tenants in a given time range.)

“Vacancy remains elevated across the primary Dayton submarkets, ranging from a low of 17.9 percent in the East submarket to a high downtown of 25.7 percent,” Colliers said.

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