Goodbye Gottschalks Department Stores

FRESNO, Calif.- After 105 years in business, renowned department store chain Gottschalks Inc. (Pink Sheets: GOTT.PK) began liquidation today. The going out of business sale will include all 58 Gottschalks locations in California (38), Washington (7), Alaska (5), Oregon (5), Nevada (1) and Idaho (2).

Founded in 1904, Gottschalks became a publicly traded company trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GOT in 1986, with Joe Levy, the grand nephew of founder Emil Gottschalk, serving as Chairman. In 1998, Gottschalks acquired the nine-store Harris Department Stores and in 2000 bought the 34-store, Seattle-based, Lamonts.

Sadly, an effort to save the chain by Shandong Commercial Group General Corp. of China failed. The late March effort would have avoided liquidation.

Gottschalks’ sale is being managed by a joint venture group of leading national retail liquidation firms, consisting of: Tiger Capital Group, LLC; Great American Group, LLC; SB Capital Group, LLC; and Hudson Capital Partners, LLC.

Not that they are the bad guys here, but they issued a rather lame press release, as if shutting down the stores was something of a tradition.

  • Harvey Yellen, Chairman of Great American Group said, “For more than a century, Gottschalks has served as a leading shopping destination throughout the western region, known to customers for its selection, service and value. The liquidation sale will offer customers a great opportunity to purchase quality, brand-name merchandise at exceptional prices.”
  • Stephen Goldberger, Managing Member of Tiger Capital Group added, “This will be the most significant sale in Gottschalks long and storied history. Customers will find tremendous savings on store merchandise. Everything must be sold.”

Gottschalks filed to reorganize under Chapter 11 on January 14, 2009 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The complete filing can be viewed at


  • Garland Pollard

    J. Garland Pollard IV is editor/publisher of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands.

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1 Comment

  1. I always like the stores and the upscale yet home town feel. I think they made a number of mistakes part of which was not staying in front of the customers enough. Too much dependance on old media like newspaper ads did not reach the younger generations.

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