Danville's Elder-Beerman to become Carson's

Danville's Elder-Beerman to become Carson's

DANVILLE — When the Village Mall in Danville opens Tuesday, one of its anchor stores will have a new name.

Bon-Ton Stores Inc. on Monday announced it will change the nameplate of its 12 Elder-Beerman stores in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan — including the one in Danville — to Carson's.

The only other Illinois store is in Mattoon.

Bon-Ton's 13 Bergner's stores, including the one at Market Place Mall in Champaign, will not change their name.

The name change is the result of an extensive marketing study that showed the Carson's name is more recognizable in market areas, according to spokeswoman Christine Hojnacki.

"The store will basically be the same," Hojnacki said, adding it won't affect staffing at the Danville store or any others. "We'll have the same great merchandise. It's basically going to allow us to communicate more efficiently and effectively in that market."

Hojnacki said store signs are scheduled to change today, and residents will begin seeing Carson's advertisements on TV and in their newspapers. The company will begin issuing Carson's credit cards to card holders in the first two weeks of September.

"Until then, they'll be able to use their Elder-Beerman cards at the store," Hojnacki said, adding they will be able to use their new card at Bergner's and other Bon-Ton stores.

The change comes as Carson's is expanding its merchandise with new, hip brands, Hojnacki said.

They include clothing by John Bartlett, a men's designer whose line is sold exclusively at Carson's, and Mambo, a collection from Australia that's geared toward the surfing, skateboarding and extreme sports lifestyle.

"It's a brand that's all about fun, unique art," Hojnacki said.

In September, the store will begin carrying the new Nine West Vintage America collection, which includes denim clothing, sportswear, shoes, handbags and jewelry, Hojnacki said.

"We're also going to be expanding our shoe assortment," she said. "Over time, you're going to be seeing more subtle changes within our store."

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. has corporate headquarters in York, Pa., and Milwaukee and operates 275 department stores, including 11 furniture galleries, in 23 states in the Midwest, Northeast and upper Great Plains under the names Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers, and Parisian in the Detroit area.

The stores offer a broad assortment of national and private brand fashion apparel and accessories for women, men and children, as well as cosmetics and home furnishings.

Information is available at http://investors.bonton.com.