These department stores once thrived a decade ago but have since disappeared

Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP ImagesClearance sale signs have been a common sight over the last several years.

It’s not an easy time to be a department store.

The past decade has proved terminal for several retailers that failed to overcome stagnating sales and dwindling foot traffic, but department stores may have been hit hardest of all. Thanks to their enormous physical spaces and particularly sluggish push toward digital innovation, institutions that were once thriving centres of commerce are increasingly falling off the already sparse retail map.

Though department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom are weathering the storm – or at least staving off a total demise – others haven’t been so lucky. Bon-Ton, for example, shuttered all seven of its department store brands in 2018 after failing to find a buyer post-bankruptcy, sounding the alarm for peers dangling by a thread.

While some of these stores found new life by being absorbed into existing brands or forming an online-only presence, they will never be the same mainstays we remember from the department halcyon days.

We took a closer look at the department stores we bid adieu to in the 2010s as the retail graveyard continues to grow.


Filene’s Basement

Getty

Discount retailer Filene’s Basement shut down operations after parent company Syms Corp. failed to bounce back from a string of bankruptcies during increased competition in the off-price market. Filene’s Basement closed its remaining stores in 2011 and has since been resurrected in the form of an e-commerce site.


Henri Bendel

Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Henri Bendel

Henri Bendel said goodbye for good in January 2019, closing all remaining stores including its iconic New York flagship store after parent company L Brands decided to liquidate its assets.


Bon-Ton

AP/Charles Krupa

In 2018, Bon-Ton Stores Inc. announced it would liquidate all 256 of its stores across its seven brands, including its namesake Bon-Ton store. After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the company failed to find a buyer and ultimately called it quits. Today, Bon-Ton has a small online presence.


Elder-Beerman

Elder-Beerman was part of the 2018 Bon-Ton liquidation, though it had already been reduced to a fraction of its original fleet when several stores were absorbed or transformed into Bon-Ton stores in the years before.


Herberger’s

Herberger’s was yet another victim of the Bon-Ton liquidation. It was founded in the Midwest in 1927.


Carson’s

Carson’s, which was primarily located in the Midwest, also shuttered as a result of the Bon-Ton liquidation.


Bergner’s

Facebook/Bergner’s

Bergner’s, essentially Carson’s upscale Midwestern cousin, closed alongside its fellow Bon-Ton brands in 2018.


Boston Store

Bon-Ton-owned Boston Store, founded in 1897 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, also closed its doors for good in 2018.


Younkers

Last but not least, Younkers said its swan song after operating for more than a century, joining its fellow Bon-Ton brands in the retail graveyard.

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