Photo by Joe Boyle
Carson’s at 9700 S.Western Ave. in Evergreen Park will reopen on Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving, which is traditionally known as Black Friday.
By Joe Boyle
A revamped and restructured Carson’s will open its doors once again for shoppers on Nov. 23 – “Black Friday” – at the state-of-the-art store in Evergreen Park.
The new owners of the reborn Carson’s will hold a hiring fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today (Thursday, Nov. 1) at the store, 9700 S. Western Ave. New company officials said that former employees will be given “special consideration.”
Evergreen Park Mayor James Sexton had been in discussion with the Michigan-based Lormax Stern Development Company, owners of the new outdoor Plaza, after Carson’s closed at the end of August. Bon-Ton Stores, who was the previous owner of Carson’s, declared bankruptcy in February and ceased operating in April after no buyer came forward and the company ended up in bankruptcy court.
But while trying to find new tenants to replace the new Carson’s that opened in September of 2016, Sexton received a phone call in September from a representative of DirectBuy in Merrillville, Ind., which is owned by SSC Generation, stating that they were interested in reopening Carson’s.
“They came in and discussed it,” Sexton said. “After talking to them, they wanted to open before the holidays. They were very excited and said they wanted to open for Thanksgiving.”
The officials at DirectBuy, a CSC Generation company that describes itself as a saving club for members that provides discounted prices on items ranging from home and lifestyle products, got the mayor’s attention. He was aware that CSC Generation had purchased the intellectual property rights to Carson’s at the end of August and it was listed on their website. But Sexton believed that the company was to run Carson’s strictly as an online product.
But after talking to the DirectBuy representative, it was clear that they wanted to reopen Carson’s half the week as a brick-and-mortar store and the other half of the week as an online operation. The tentative deal was first reported in The Reporter in the Oct. 11 edition.
The next move was persuading the Evergreen Park Village Board to approve the deal. The board voted unanimously in favor of reopening Carson’s at the Oct. 15 meeting.
“Carson’s is back,” said a jubilant Sexton after the vote was taken.
“At first they want to operate out of the first floor to start,” Sexton said. “They are also planning to sell their DirectBuy brands. I think the idea is to sell the most popular Carson’s items while combining it with DirectBuy products. Eventually they should use the second floor.”
The current company that will operate the revived Carson’s will be called Bon-Ton Holdings.
The new Carson’s is scheduled to be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Officials from the new company said it will be utilized for online sales Monday through Wednesday.
It was not known at press time if Carson’s will be open earlier on Black Friday, which this year is Nov. 23. The term Black Friday is used to describe shopping the day after Thanksgiving when brick-and-mortar stores offer major discounts on items as a kickoff to the holiday season.
The reopening of Carson’s is a major gift for Sexton and Evergreen Park officials since the 120,470-square-foot building was deemed as the anchor of the new outdoor Plaza. Sexton said the new store had been profitable since it opened two years ago.
“I’m just very excited that Carson’s will be open again,” Sexton said.