On February 4, 2018 Bon-Ton Stores Inc., a department store chain which has 260 stores nationwide, sought bankruptcy protection saying it was trying to restructure financially or sell the company to avoid liquidation. For mall owners, a “going out of business” sale at one of their large anchor stores not only decreases rent revenue but, it can lead to the departure of other mall stores that counted on traffic generated by the anchor store. It can at least lead to demands that other retailer rents be reduced. Some retail experts believe that mall owners might consider a joint investment to help Bon-Ton stay alive. RK&O partner Gregory G. Plotko told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that this idea "is not far-fetched." Mr. Plotko explained to The Wall Street Journal why a mall owner would want to avoid liquidation, "The economic benefit for landlords to step in is clear, as they would like to keep a customer alive and it also prevents their malls from having a dark box, which turns off customers from shopping."
"Rizzo's Take: Will Landlords Consider Another Retail Deal?" - The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
"Could mall operators help rescue Bon-Ton department stores?" - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel