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Younkers

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Younkers parent company Bon-Ton Stores notified the Nebraska Department of Labor this week of potential store closings in Omaha.

The company sent a letter to the department Thursday saying that it plans to close stores in Omaha at Oakview and Westroads malls if it is forced to liquidate. According to the letter, more than 350 people would lose jobs as a result of the closings.

The letter gave June 5 as a possible closing date.

No other stores were listed. The company has a Younkers store at Gateway Mall in Lincoln, as well as one in Grand Island. It also has Herberger's stores in Hastings, Kearney, Norfolk, North Platte and Scottsbluff.

Bon-Ton said in a statement that the notices were provided to satisfy the requirements of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires companies to give 60 days' notice when they plan mass layoffs or closings. According to media reports, it has provided WARN notices in several other states over the past week.

Bon-Ton declared bankruptcy in February and has been attempting to reorganize or sell the company. Less than a week before the bankruptcy filing, it announced plans to close 42 stores, none of which were in Nebraska.

Bon-Ton announced last week that it had interest from an unnamed bidder. Reuters reported earlier this week that two mall owners, Washington Prime Group Inc. and Namdar Realty Group, have teamed up to try to buy the company.

Bon-Ton said in a court filing this week that there will be an auction Monday, with a court hearing scheduled April 13 to approve any potential sale.

"Bon-Ton is in active discussions with an investor group to acquire the company in a court-supervised sale process," it said in its statement. "We are encouraged by the interest in Bon-Ton, and we hope that jobs will be preserved through a sale process."

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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