Gottschalks to Leave Sierra Vista Mall

July 13, 2009 6:03:38 PM PDT
In 2 days Gottschalks will no longer serve the Central Valley ending a century old retail shopping legacy.Clovis city leaders have spent the last year with mall management looking for a new tenant to replace Mervyns when it closed last December. After this Sunday the search will continue but now it'll be for two anchor tenants.

Gottschalks is one of 86 businesses at the Sierra Vista mall in Clovis. This Sunday the retail giant will close its doors for good here and all over the Valley.

"When I first came to this country this is where I'd come and shop and I got to know the people and it was really friendly," said Clovis's Joan Allen.

"It's too sad to talk about Gottschalks. I'm sorry," said another shopper.

A closure of this size can lead to serious financial loss to surrounding stores. Before Mervyns closed its doors at Sierra Vista mall last December, management and Clovis city leaders began an active search for a new tenant. Now the search has expanded.

"Diversity in retail is really the key," said city manager Kathy Millison.

Millison said retail stores are looking but cannot say who is interested. "Given the current economy I just don't know how long that will take but were pretty confident that there will ultimately be new tenants in the facility."

For now many of the 85 businesses inside Sierra Vista Mall will rely on Target and Sears, the other 2 anchors, to lure in traffic.

Over at River Park, shoppers are finding there's not much inventory left. But what still remains is priced to move. Fixtures and furniture are also in demand.

"They've got cabinets and all those cool things and I'm starting a short term business," said Jeremy Pedron.

Christopher Rocha is a former employee of Gottschalks at River Park. He said his coworkers are looking out for each other.

"We're such a tight knit family. I worked in cosmetics and men's fragrances and we've all be helping each other find a job," said Rocha.

Gottschalks at River Park will close at 7pm Sunday. Fashion Fair will close when all merchandise has cleared the store. In Visalia Gottschalks will close at 4pm and at Sierra Vista the store will say its final good bye to shoppers at 6pm.

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