Exterior view of a Bon-Ton store

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. has filed a Chapter 11 petition for bankruptcy court protection in Delaware.

The company said it is “currently engaged in constructive discussion with potential investors and its debt holders regarding the terms of a financial restructuring plan.” It also said it intends to use the court-supervised process to “explore potential strategic alternatives [that] may include a sale of the company or certain of its assets as part of the plan of reorganization.”

Bon-Ton said last week that it would close 42 stores this year. Store closing sales began on Thursday and are expected to run for between 10 and 12 weeks.

The retailer has secured a commitment of up to $725 million in debtor-in-possession financing from its existing asset-based lenders, which is subject to court approval.

Bill Tracy, president and chief executive officer, said, “During this court-supervised process, we plan to continue operating in the normal course and executing on our key initiatives to drive improved performance.”

Tracy added, “[W]e look forward to continuing to provide our customers with quality merchandise and an exceptional shopping experience in our stores and across e-commerce and mobile platforms as we move through this financial restructuring process.”

The retailer’s stores, e-commerce and mobile platforms will continue operations as usual.

Bon-Ton has corporate headquarters in York, Penn., and Milwaukee, Wisc., and operates under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates.