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Bon-Ton store opening as brick and mortar stores struggle to stand

HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (18 News) - Bon-Ton cut the ribbon this morning, to celebrate the opening of their new location in the Arnot Mall. The location is just across the street from the old store.

John McAllister, store manager, said they have a lot of new vendors.

"Plus the entire store has been freshened up," McAllister said. " We got to move into a clean new building."

Brick and Mortar stores are becoming harder to stay open. The space used to be Macy's, until they were forced to shut down. The Toys "R" Us across the street is also in the process of filing bankruptcy.

McAllister hopes to beat the odds against them in this new location by bringing on a local twist.

"It is our focus on the community and being local," McAllister said. "That's what its all about."

The new focus on the local community will bring Close to Home Shops to several Bon-Ton Stores. The Close to Home Shops are sections dedicated to local vendors.

McAllister said the corporate office hired someone who visits each community to scout out which vendors are important to the area. Corning Glass is one of the vendors they have brought in the Arnot Mall location.

Many big box stores are going out of business, as customers are going online. However, some are not ready to make that switch.

"I'm not a computer person, but my husband is," Margaret Colwell, a customer, said. "But I do think more people are going online."

"It's a hardship. I shop in stores not online," Judith Hamma, another customer said. " I like to try things on, and you can't do that online. So we need this mall. We need these stores."

Bon Ton, bringing a local touch, that they hope can not be felt from online.


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