In 2009, Bon-Ton Stores began operating fine jewelry departments in 86 of its nameplate stores after signing multi-year agreements with suppliers after having licensed out control of said departments to another corporation. Bud Bergren, president and CEO, said at the time that the move was crucial to continuing to reinforce Bon-Ton’s position as offering distinctive styling, quality, and value in fine jewelry.
In October 2010, the company made another strategic move by signing a licensing and design agreement with Tharanco Lifestyles LLC and fashion designer John Bartlett for an exclusive private label collection of men’s apparel and accessories. With the agreement, Bon-Ton once again took control of its products by managing the sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, and marketing of the line.
These and other moves made under Bergren’s tenure have positioned Bon-Ton as a leading department store in the US and enabled it to decrease its debt by approximately $99 million in 2010.
“Over the past three years, we have taken the necessary steps to navigate the company through a challenging economic period,” said Bergren. “In 2011, we believe we have many opportunities for top-line growth and increased profitability by tailoring our merchandise assortments to our markets, furthering private brand development, and growing ecommerce, as well as optimizing advertising through emerging media channels. All our initiatives underscore our goal of being the provider of fashion and quality at great value.”