Life after Gottschalks

May 29, 2009 10:26:37 PM PDT
Recent developments involving Gottschalks, Macy's and Forever 21 are stirring excitement among shoppers. But more importantly, the moves will help keep some people employed.Some workers will be able to stay in the retail industry despite the demise of Gottschalks. With the end of an era drawing near, many are now shopping for new jobs.

Retailers will be trading places at one of Fresno's prime shopping locations ... River Park. Once Gottschalk's liquidation sale ends, Macy's will move in.

Retail Investment Advisor Skip Rollf said, "It shows again the economy is turning around and there are retailers like Macys, who are no slouches, that they're still on a growth pattern."

Rollf reminds us the retail cycle has claimed many favorites over the years. Gottschalks was preceded by companies like Mervyns, Woolworth and Gemco. He said, "We forget they were empty at one point. Somebody came long like Target at one point, came from the Midwest and took over the large locations."

Macy's will expand at River Park and Visalia. Forever 21 will move into the Gottschalks at Fashion Fair as well as the Hanford Mall. Both companies will find eager job-seekers.

Steve Geil said, "A, they've got a built-in workforce that's been displaced. Two, they can go in there and interview and take the best of the best."

Gottschalk's corporate office workers were laid off in April. Those who work in retail will soon be back in the job market. But some Gottschalks workers are already looking into different careers.

Pam Lassetter with the Workforce Investment Board said, "Many of those Gottschalks employees, based on it appears the retail industry is even struggling here, they're actually choosing to go into different fields and into training."

Lassetter expects the jobless situation to worsen before it gets better.

While the jobs created by Macy's and Forever 21's expansion might not make a dent in our unemployment rate ... Lassetter says at this point ... every job is as good as gold.

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