Macy's, Forever 21 to take over Gottschalks Stores

May 29, 2009 12:25:57 AM PDT
Two months after Fresno-based Gottschalks announced an end to its 105 year run, local shoppers are still reeling."It's depressing, it really is, especially for young people like me you know kind of makes us feel like there's no hope for the future, it's really sad," said Ashley Tucker.

Gottschalks' unfortunate ending has become a new beginning for two national retailers ... Forever 21 and Macy's.

On Thursday, a bankruptcy judge approved Forever 21's 17.7 million dollar bid to take over 14 Gottschalks properties, including the Hanford Mall and Fashion Fair in Northeast Fresno.

The judge also approved Macy's bid to take over Gottschalks River Park and Visalia locations. Shoppers in Visalia say bringing Macy's there is essential for the area.

Elba Bolivar said, "That's awesome cause you don't have to drive all the way to Fresno."

River Park Spokesperson, Tracy Kashian says they're excited to welcome Macy's, and any other store that may follow.

Tracy Kashian said, "It puts us on a bigger radar for bigger tenants, national tenants, other people coming in."

Meanwhile, some question whether Forever 21 can fill a bigger space than the one they currently have at Fashion Fair.

Jaime Null said, "Not thinking it's going to work out only because they seem like they fill what they have in the space they have, I don't know about them expanding into that space at Fashion Fair."

Nevertheless, retail experts say the Gottschalks takeover will be good for both the retailer and the consumer ... giving them something new to be excited about.

"The customer absolutely wins. These are two very powerful retailers coming in and I think the customers are going to be very excited about what they see," said Retail Consultant Howard Davidowitz.

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