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Bon-Ton nabs Belk merchant for CEO job

Belk president and chief merchandising officer Kathryn Bufano was named president at CEO of The Bon-Ton Stores late Thursday.

Bufano spent the past six years with Belk, a higher regarded privately held operator of more than 300 mid-tier department stores in the Southeast. She will assume her new role at The Bon-Ton’s 272 store operation on August 25. Bufano fills a position previously held by Brendan Hoffman who is leaving the company after his three-year contract expires. The company said Hoffman will play an important role in working through a transition period with Bufano and was actively involved in conversations with her during the recruitment process.

“We are excited to have an executive with Kathryn’s talents and background assuming the role of president and CEO. Her years of experience in the department store industry will allow her to refine and drive the strategic growth initiatives we have put in place over the last several years,” said The Bon-Ton chairman and chief strategic officer Tim Grumbacher.

Prior to her time at Belk, Bufano served as CEO of Vanity Shops and also held apparel merchandising roles with Sears, Dress Barn, Macy’s and Lord & Taylor.

The Bon-Ton operates 272 stores, which includes 10 furniture galleries, in 25 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under banners such as Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers.

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