Some Region residents were out of luck when Carson's wasn't able to save itself in bankruptcy court, and announced last April it would liquidate after 164 years of operations, including at least 64 in the Region.
They were left with unused and suddenly unusable gift cards left over from Christmas, Hanukkah, birthdays and graduations.
But now Carson's is back, in a fashion. CSC Generation, the parent company of DirectBuy in Merrillville, has relaunched Carson's as a Merrillville-based online retailer that is reopening select brick-and-mortar stores, including the Carson's at Evergreen Park in the south suburbs that drew long lines when it reopened on Black Friday.
That store, at 9700 S. Western Ave. in the Evergreen Plaza Shopping Center, will honor legacy gift cards that were sold before Carson's closed its doors in August.
“We were inspired and humbled by the nearly 10,000 loyal customers who came out to show their support for our re-opening, and wanted to show our gratitude by doing right by customers who were wronged by the company’s bankruptcy,” Carson's interim Chief Operating Officer Dylan Astle said.
Anyone with an old gift card they weren't able to use before the bankruptcy can now use it for purchases in Evergreen Park, about a half-hour drive from Northwest Indiana, through Dec. 31.
CSC Generation is looking to modernize Carson's, a regional department store chain that dates back to 1854 and included the flagship Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building designed by famed architect Louis Sullivan in downtown Chicago. After acquiring Carson's intellectual property in bankruptcy court, the new owners are "tailoring its offering to meet the expectations of shoppers of today" with an emphasis on e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores that are only open from Thursday through Sunday.
The new Carson's management also hopes to reopen stores in Orland Park and Lombard, but is not looking at reviving any of the Northwest Indiana locations at this time.