Levy Family Reaction to Gottschalks Liquidation

Fresno, CA                   |   Watch Videos Above for Extended Coverage   |

A walk through Gottschalk's corporate headquarters saddened Joe and Sharon Levy. They're worried about the 52-hundred employees who will soon be out of work.

"You're sick to your stomach. You feel terrible for the associates here. We're trying to help them any way we can. Get them placed. We're setting up groups where they can get their questions answered," said Levy.

Joe Levy is the grand-nephew of Emil Gottschalk, who founded the company in 1904. His wife Sharon also serves on the Gottschalks board.

Sharon said, "This is going to be a very difficult time as piece by piece everything disappears and the Gottschalks' name comes down I can't think how we're going to feel."

The liquidation of Gottschalks will leave a large void in the Valley retail landscape. Gottschalks serves as an anchor store at River Park as well as Fashion Fair, Manchester Center and Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis. That's just the Fresno-area stores.

"When you have a passion for 50 years and you build it brick by brick. To see it come tumbling down in a very short period of time is very, very difficult," said Levy.

On September 17th, 2004 the Levys joined Gottschalks CEO Jim Famalette at the New York Stock Exchange. But just as Wall Street has hit a rough stretch so has the retail industry.

Gottschalks Board Members were confident until the end.

A ribbon-cutting marked the opening of a store in Bend, Oregon just five months ago. Now it is one of 61 stores in six states that will be closing.

Joe Levy told me long-time Gottschalks employees have come up to him to say ... I miss the good old days.

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