One of Mariner Mall's long-time anchor stores is closing.  Bon-Ton Stores - the operators of the Younkers department store in Superior announced today that they plan to close 42 additional stores - joining the 5 already disclosed - for a total of 47 locations;  the Superior location is included as part of that list.

According to the press release, Bon-Ton cites the need to "drive improved performance in an effort to strengthen our capital structure to support the business going forward".  The move is part of a so-called "store rationalization" process.

A third-party will handle the liquidation sales, which start on February 1 and will continue for approximately 10 to 12 weeks.

The closure leaves Superior residents without much choice in terms of shopping for clothing and housewares.  Over the years retailers like J.C. Penney, Kmart, Target, and others have left the Superior market.  Since last years closing of Target, shoppers for department store merchandise in the city have been reduced to either shopping at Younkers and Walmart or going over to Duluth.  The closure of the Younkers will severely limit that choice in the future.

Many shoppers often cited the fact that the Superior Younkers seemingly offered different clothing lines and options than the Duluth store.  That fact - coupled with the sales tax difference - often made the location a favorite of Superior and Duluth residents.