The parent company of Circle Centre Mall anchor Carson Pirie Scott has joined a growing list of retailers struggling to stay afloat after disappointing fourth-quarter sales. About half the racks in the store are on sale for 75 percent off, good news for customers but bad news for a retailer. The store is part of York, Pa.-based Bon-Ton Stores Inc., which operates 280 stores in 23 states. The company has less than $24 million in cash on its books and about $1.4 billion in debt, and Moody’s just downgraded the company’s credit rating. Its shares are down 84 percent in a year, to $6.56. Carson’s took over the space about a year ago from Parisian. How big of a blow would it be if Carson’s had to close?
Another struggling retailer is Sharper Image. The chain plans to close 90 of its 185 stores nationwide after declaring bankruptcy this week. The San Francisco-based home electronics retailer has stores at the Fashion Mall at Keystone and in Fort Wayne. A spokesman said no decision has been made on which stores will close.