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Analyst: Boston Store Demise Was Long Time in Coming


People who shop at Boston Store could soon be seeing "Going Out of Business" sales -- and the loss of 2,200 jobs in Wisconsin.

A U.S. bankruptcy court Wednesday approved the sale of Boston Store's parent, Bob-Ton Stores, Inc. to a couple of liquidation companies.

Bon-Ton operates 260 stores in 24 states, including Boston Store and Younkers stores across Wisconsin.  The news is a blow to Milwaukee, including at the flagship Boston Store downtown, and the corporate offices in the same building.  

Tom Daykin reports on commercial real estate and development for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  He told WUWM's Marti Mikkelson that the demise of Boston Store doesn't come as a surprise -- in fact, it dates back three decades.

Meanwhile, Paul Geenen says the end of Boston Store is the end of an era -- when Milwaukee was known for department stores that were destinations. 

Geenen is author of a book about two former local retail giants -- Gimbels and Schuster's.  He says they, along with Boston Store, were known for their customer service and special features.  Geenen shared his thoughts with WUWM's Ann-Elise Henzl.

Retail author Paul Geenen shares his thoughts with WUWM's Ann-Elise Henzl on the end of the Boston Store era

Historian John Gurda joins Lake Effect's Mitch Teich by phone to put Boston Store’s place in Milwaukee in context.

Ann-Elise Henzl became News Director in September 2017.
Marti was a reporter with WUWM from 1999 to 2021.