Carson's hints it will make some type of return
A large bold message on the top of Carson's website today says the retailer has plans to make a return.
"We've got great news. Carson's is coming back!" the message reads on the site. The websites for the parent company Bon-Ton's other store brands have the same message, but use the name of those store brands.
The sites say additional updates will be provided soon.
"Stay tuned for updates over the coming weeks!" they say. "We appreciate your loyalty and look forward to being able to serve you again soon."
Officials from Carson's, which closed its remaining stores at 5 p.m. Wednesday, were unable to elaborate on the next step for the retailer.
An official from Great American Group, one of the firms handling Carson's liquidation, said in a statement that the "company's intellectual property is in the process of being sold."
"We cannot speak to the purchaser's future plans with the company. All inquiries should be referred to the buyer which will be disclosed once the transaction is closed," said Scott Carpenter, president of retail solutions and the lead on the liquidation.
The list of store locations on the Carson's website says its stores are "temporarily closed."
A local retail analyst said he had not heard of plans for the retail institution that had been in operation for 160 years. "I suspect that someone has bought the IP (intellectual property) rights and will relaunch as a website," said retail consultant Neil Stern, senior partner with McMillan Doolittle in Chicago.
He said that's "pretty common now with brands like The Sharper Image," and other companies.
Carson's website tease came just a few days after the liquidation sales ended and stores closed. The company said in April it would close stores when bankrupt Bon-Ton stores failed to find a bidder willing to keep the business going.
Bon-Ton operated 260 stores in 24 states, largely in the Northeast and Midwest, when it filed for bankruptcy in January. In addition to Carson's, the company owned the Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store and Elder-Beerman nameplates.
Carson's had 30 stores in Illinois, of which 26 were in the Chicago area. Most of the suburban stores were in shopping malls, including Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills, Randhurst Village in Mount Prospect, Stratford Square Mall in Bloomingdale, Yorktown Center in Lombard and Fox Valley Mall in Aurora.
A handful of stores in the area closed earlier this year, including Carson's at Streets of Woodfield in Schaumburg and clearance centers in Morton Grove and Aurora, as well as Carson's in Danville and DeKalb and at Riverside Plaza in Chicago and a Bergner's store in Peoria.