Though headquartered in Merrillville, the new owners of Carson's have no immediate plans to reopen the shuttered Carson's department stores in Hammond, Hobart and Michigan City.
CSC Generations, parent company of Merrillville-based Direct Buy, bought the intellectual property of Carson's, Bon-Ton and associated department store chains out of bankruptcy court for $900,000. Carson's, the Bon-Ton Stores, Bergner's, Boston Store, Elder Beerman, Herberger's and Younker's have since been relaunched as ecommerce sites.
The new owner is interested in reopening brick-and-mortar stores in Illinois, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, spokesman Fred Hulls said.
"We're going to look at the stores and how successful they were," he said. "We have the tools in place to reopen select stores ahead of the holidays. We also are interested in new locations."
New stores likely would be much smaller than the department stores Carson's is known for, such as the towering three-story store at the site of the former Woodmar Mall in Hammond.
"The new store concept is 10,000 to 100,000 square feet," Hulls said. "Most would be 50,000 to 60,000 square feet."
Carsons's and Bon-Ton are headquartered at the Direct Buy offices in Merrillville, but that may only be a temporary arrangement, Hulls said.
"The headquarters is currently in Merrillville, but we're initially considering other options," he said. "It's early in the process."
CSC Generations is fulfilling online orders through Carson's and the other websites through warehouses in Indiana and North Carolina and is working to build up the selection of brands.