Gottschalks chain plans to liquidate

Regional department store chain Gottschalks Inc. is going out of business after failing to successfully reorganize its operations under Chapter 11, the Fresno company said Tuesday.

The 105-year-old chain, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January, sells fashion apparel, cosmetics, shoes, accessories and home merchandise. Most of its locations -- 55 department stores and three specialty apparel stores -- are in California. Its Southern California locations include stores in Palmdale, San Bernardino and Riverside.

The liquidation still needs to be approved by a Delaware Bankruptcy Court, which is scheduled to consider the proposal today. If approved, the liquidation sale could begin as early as Thursday. It is expected to be completed by July 15.

“Despite all our efforts at earnest negotiations, we were unable to reach an agreement with our creditors, lenders and bidders,” Chief Executive Jim Famalette said. “Regrettably, liquidation is now the only path for our company. We are deeply disappointed with this outcome.”