Macy's fills the Gottschalks Void in Fresno & Visalia

October 22, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Soon shoppers will get a preview of the newest department store soon to open in the Valley. Macy's has taken over the former Gottschalks location in River Park.Store managers say hundreds of employees from all over the country came to the Valley to help open this new store. Employees say they are ready to start serving the community.

Everything is shiny and new inside the new Macy's department store at River Park and soon Fresnans will have two locations to choose from.

"With the size Fresno is and the outlying communities, there is definitely enough room to have two Macy's," said Store Manager Deena Cota.

Cota said all the name brands, clothing and shoes Valley residents associate with Macy's are here. Although Macy's at Fashion Fair Mall is only 5 miles away, Cota said this location offers a unique experience. "Lot of traffic, with the theater, the outdoor malls it has an environment that is different than a mall setting."

Here's what's new inside: the shelves are stocked with a new display of colorful Coach handbags, there is a larger fine jewelry section and more.

"We have Ralph Lauren shops both in men and women, we have MAC cosmetics, benefit cosmetics."

Cota and some of her 216 staff members are former Gottschalk's employees. When the department store went bankrupt in January local non-profits say they struggled.

"Anytime you lose a major anchor in terms of charitable giving it's very hard to deal with," said John English with the Fresno Met.

The new Macy's is already stepping in to take up the slack, opening its doors for a charity shopping event. Customers buy $10 dollar tickets from nearly 40 non profits The organizations get the cash and the customers get discounted prices.

"We're so happy Macy's has stepped up their role in the community to fill that void because so many nonprofits, not just the Met, need that anchor," said English.

Now many are excited to have a store that meets shopping needs and the need of the community.

The store's one day charity event is this Saturday and the official grand opening and ribbon cutting is next Wednesday, October 28th.

Macy's employees in Visalia are getting ready to open the company's new South Valley store.

New signs have gone up on the old Gottschalks location in the Visalia Mall. Inside the two story department store, shoppers will find plenty of their favorite make-up, clothing, and shoe brands.

About 230 people have been hired to work at the South Valley store, including some former Gottschalks employees.




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