• REGIONAL RESTRUCTURING:

Bon-Ton Stores Inc. plans sharp cutbacks at Elder-Beerman’s headquarters in Dayton, Ohio. Bon-Ton said Monday that 132 hourly and 179 management jobs are being cut, leaving only about 140 employees — primarily computer, programming and support staff. Elder-Beerman has a total of 6,750 employees. No jobs at stores or the distribution center are being eliminated. Bon-Ton, based in York, Pa., bought Elder-Beerman last September for $92.8 million, or $8 a share. Bon-Ton said 45 of the outgoing workers have been offered jobs at Bon-Ton’s headquarters and others will be offered posts in Dayton-area Elder-Beerman stores. The combined company operates 142 stores in 16 states.

  • BUYBACK BOOST:
  • Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said its board approved a $7 billion share repurchase program, which is separate from and replaces its previous $5 billion stock buyback. Under the previous authorization, Wal-Mart had repurchased $3.1 billion worth of its common shares through the third quarter ended Oct. 31. Although Wal-Mart’s stock fell 18 cents, or 0.3 percent, to close at $52.12 on the New York Stock Exchange Monday, in after-hours trading following the news of the stock buyback program the firm’s shares climbed 38 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $52.50.

    This story first appeared in the January 6, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.