Liquidators won the battle for Gottschalks Inc. on Monday and will shut down the company, CEO James Famalette said late Monday.
"It's very difficult to talk right now," said Famalette, his voice shaking, a little more than an hour after the auction ended in Delaware.
He said Gottschalks would begin notifying employees today about what will happen. Going-out-of-business sales could begin as early as this week.
Gottschalks, founded in Fresno in 1904, operates 58 department stores and three specialty stores, including locations in Antioch, Santa Cruz, Stockton and Tracy. It has about 5,200 employees in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho and Nevada.
The liquidators were one of three bidders, including another liquidator and a Chinese company, Shandong Commercial Group, that intended to keep some of the stores open.
"We tried as hard as we could to make this work with the Shandong people, but there were too many things financially, with the size of the deal, and regulatory issues, that they just couldn't get done in time," Famalette said from Delaware.
Bankruptcies and Liquidations:
- Jan. 7, Goody's liquidates, closing 287 stores
- Jan. 8, Against All Odds files for bankruptcy protection, operates 64 stores overall, plans to close West Coast stores
- Jan. 13, Shane Co. files for bankruptcy, operates 23 stores
- Jan. 14, Gottschalks files for bankruptcy, operates 58 stores, Update: March 31, Gottschalks will liquidate
- Jan. 16, Circuit City to Liquidate, closing 567 stores
- Feb. 6, Fortunoff, operates 20 stores
- Feb. 6, Bruno's, operates 66 stores
- Feb. 12, S&K Famous Brands, operates 136 stores; Update: Feb. 19, plans to close 30.
- Feb. 17, Innovation Luggage, operates 10 stores
- Feb. 23, Ritz Camera, operates about 1,000 stores
- March 6, Joe's Sports & Outdoor, operates 30 stores
- March 25, Bi-Lo, operates 215 stores
Potential Bankruptcies & Liquidation Impact: 942 confirmed closures out of about 2,476 stores
- Jan. 8, New York & Co., 50 stores
- Jan. 8, Macy's, 11 stores
- Jan. 9, Supervalu, 50 stores
- Jan. 13, Cost Plus, 26 stores
- Jan. 20, Yankee Candle, 28 Illuminations stores
- Jan. 21, Filene's Basement, 11 stores
- Jan. 22, Phillips-Van Heusen, 175 stores
- Jan 22, Brown Shoe, up to 35 Famous Footwear stores
- Jan. 26, Home Depot, 48 stores
- Jan. 29, Starbucks, 200 U.S. Stores (plus 100 international)
- Jan. 29, Chico's, up to 25 stores
- Feb. 9, Talbots, 20 stores
- Feb. 24, Jimmy'Z, 11 stores
- Feb. 24, Z. Gallerie, 25 stores
- Feb. 25, Zale Corp., 115 stores
- Feb. 26, Gap, 50 net closings
- Feb. 27, Sears, 44 stores
- March 3, Virgin Megastores, 6 stores
- March 6, Ann Taylor, 37 stores in 2009, 163 total by end of 2010
- March 18, Drug Fair, 11 stores
- March 23, Pier 1, 80 stores
Total Closings: up to 1,058 U.S. stores
Potential Impact of All Announcements to Date: 2,000 closures out of up to 3,534 potentially affected U.S. stores