Will a Gottschalks Reincarnation Work?

Gottschalks, the West Coast department-store chain that went bankrupt and liquidated last year, is getting reborn. Joe Levy, a former CEO, is launching Gottschalk by Joe Levy, and plans to go into at least three of the 58 locations that were liquidated last year.

So far, the new concept is close to inking on deal in Clovis, CA, and it’s also considering former Gottschalks locations in the towns of Auburn and Oakhurst. If a deal is reached, the Clovis store will go into Land Value Management’s Sierra Vista Mall.

Levy says he would like to open 10 to 15 stores in former well-performing Gottschalks locations. Financing details for the new venture are sketchy in media reports.

Some observers think that Levy is a “madman” for launching such a concept. For our part, we don’t think that Gottschalk by Joe Levy is a name that will drive throngs of shoppers into stores. (The “s” was left out of the name, by the way, for legal reasons.)

Will this concept actually work? Or maybe more importantly, are landlords desperate enough to fill vacancies to try something like this out?

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5 Responses to “Will a Gottschalks Reincarnation Work?”


  1. 1 James April 29, 2010 at 9:44 am

    As a famous general once said, “NUTS”

  2. 2 James April 29, 2010 at 9:52 am

    “Gottschalks” was a horrible name to begin with, “Gottschalk by Joe Levy” isn’t any better. WHY? WHY? WHY? do we need yet another store selling/foisting cheap cotton crap and notions ala Woolworths on the American consumer. This category is completely full of purveyors. Joe has every right to go for it but why not just call it “Joe’s” or something. I don’t see any cache’ in the Gottschalks name.

  3. 3 Tahitijack April 29, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Most of us don’t know or care who Joe Levy is, so the brand name has no value. Sorry Joe. Gottschalks was a relic of the past and should be left in the pile of dead retailers that failed to keep pace with changes.

  4. 4 Joan Gootherts April 30, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Gottschalks return to the Auburn, ca. store would be a blessing. Many older people I know here in Grass Valley have to go to Roseville to find clothing suitable for older adults.

    Local stors cater to the younger folks. That’s fine, but this is an aging community badly in need of a store selling appropriate styles and patterns for those of us 50 and older. Gottschalks was the answer.

    Gottschalks carried classic styles and I hope would do so again. Gottschalks never carried junk; contrary to what one reviewer had to say. The Yuba City store was even better because it was bigger.

    I don’t care what you name the store. That’s the least of our problems.

    Please keep us posted.

    Joan Gootherts

  5. 5 Dave May 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    As a purveyor of fine clothing targeted toward those of us more “mature” Californians in the aging baby boomer demographic groups and above, I think that the “new” Gottschalk(no “S”) may be on to something. I say good for Joe Levy at age 78 and still going strong. Now I know where we can still buy Moo Moo’s, polyester Leisure Suits and 10 inch wide ties. They’re comin’ back ya know. DW


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