Gottschalks to Close Stores and Liquidate

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Gottschalks says it won't be able to avoid

The bankrupt retailer had hoped to possibly sidestep the action
after talking to the Shandong Commercial Group, inese
government-owned conglomerate, about a potential buyout.

But Gottschalk CEO Jim Famalette said in a statement today that
they weren't able to reach an agreement by the court-imposed
deadline, so the retailer will move forward with liquidation

Regional retailers such as Gottschalks became particularly vulnerable during the recession because they can't purchase goods
as cheaply as larger retail chains.

The Fresno-based company's assets will be purchased by a
consortium of buyers that includes liquidation specialists.

The liquidation could start Thursday if approved by a Delaware
bankruptcy court.

Gottschalks' Reno store closed recently when its mall was closed, and the Carson City store will close as a result of the liquidation.

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