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Unless it Finds a Buyer, Gottschalks May Be Headed for Liquidation

The retailer, whose operations include department stores in Antioch, Stockton, Tracy, Santa Rosa and Capitola, said it hopes to complete an auction by March 17 that would lead to a sale of the company. Fresno-based Gottschalks operates primarily in malls located in suburban and rural markets in California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho and Alaska.

Absent a buyer, Gottschalks would move toward a liquidation during the spring, company filings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware shows.

Gottschalks listed $197 million in debts and $288 million in assets in its bankruptcy filing on Jan. 14.

"The very weak retail and credit environment" triggered the bankruptcy filing, J. Gregory Ambro, chief operating officer of Gottschalks, stated in an affidavit that accompanied the filing.

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