WILMINGTON, Del. — A revived Gottschalks could potentially still rise out of the ashes of the retail chain's bankruptcy, company attorneys said in court today.
Although most of Gottschalks assets will be sold, the company has so far retained its Fresno headquarters and what attorneys call its intellectual property. A Chinese company, Shandong Commercial Group, could still end up bidding on some assets in hopes of keeping the chain alive.
"I'm sure the employees would be in favor of that," U.S. District Bankruptcy Court Judge Kevin Carey said. Carey is overseeing a hearing convened in Delaware to conisder the results of Monday's bankruptcy auction, won by companies intending to liquidate Gottschalks' inventory, fixtures and equipment.
The hearing is continuing at this hour.
Gottschalks Chairman and CEO James Famalette said he remains "in communication" with the Chinese company.
"There may be an opportunity to give a rebirth" to Gottschalks, Famalette said.
If the judge approves the prevailing bid from Monday's auction, going-out-of-business sales could begin immediately at Gottschalks 58 department stores and three specialty stores in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho and Nevada. The Fresno-based retailer, founded in 1904, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in mid-January.