Monday, December 11, 2006
Gottschalks For Sale?
According to Reuters, Fresno-based Gottschalks department store has hired USB Investment Bank to help it explore a sale or merger of the company.
Gottschalks is one of the very few independent family-run department stores in the country.
Department store consolidation has been in the works for decades. According to Kurt Barnard, president of Retail Forecasting consulting company, "the department store has lost much of its luster. They're struggling very hard to find an avenue that can lead [them], if not back to past glory, certainly onward to newfound success." According to TheStreet.com, department store stocks have underperformed the S&P 500's 139% rise over a period from 1994 to 2004, with Nordstrom up 128%, Saks up 73% and May Company up 47%. Meanwhile, Dillard's shares have fallen a whopping 52% in the past 10 years.
Gottschalks has just one Bay Area location (Antioch, Somersville Town Center). A second location in Danville's Blackhawk Plaza closed this year (due to being forced out by the shopping center).
Read the full story here.