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Herberger’s sets Aug. 29 closing date

August 24, 2018

SCOTTSBLUFF – Herberger’s, the last remaining anchor store in the Monument Mall, will permanently close its doors on Wednesday, Aug. 29 at 5 p.m. It could be sooner if the remaining inventory is liquidated prior to then.

Store officials couldn’t comment beyond confirming the closing date. But the Scottsbluff location isn’t the only store affected.

Herberger’s was part of the Bon-Ton Stores family of department stores. The corporation operated 250 stores in 23 states, primarily in the Northeast and Midwest. The corporation’s nameplates in Nebraska included Herberger’s and Younkers.

Last April, details for the corporation’s liquidation and assets sale were finalized in Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. It was announced at the time that most of the stores would be closed by the end of August 2018.

When the Monument Mall opened in 1986, there were three anchor stores: Wal-Mart (the first in the area), Herberger’s and JC Penney.

Wal-Mart, now called Walmart, moved across town in 2000 to a standalone Supercenter location. JC Penney was next to leave in 2012, a corporate decision to close underperforming stores. That left Herberger’s.

Although the store is closing, it isn’t a reflection of its viability. Starr Lehl, Scottsbluff’s Director of Economic Development, said the local Herberger’s was doing well financially and was a premiere store for the Monument Mall, owned by Houston-based RockStep Capital.

It was a customer base from across the Panhandle that kept Herberger’s on a solid footing. But Bon-Ton Stores, the parent company, had been struggling for some time.

When the closure was announced, Monument Mall Manager Christa Pelster said industry standards show redevelopment of an anchor store the size of Herberger’s could typically take from two to three years to complete.

Lehl said the city is more optimistic. Because the local Herberger’s was a solid business with a strong clientele, it could generate more interest for companies interested in the location.

Lehl said she’s heard of some potential retailers that might want to move into the space, but nothing official so far.

RockStep Capital officials agreed, saying there’s nothing they can disclose at this time, but they are reviewing their options with the goal of landing new tenants as soon as possible.

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