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Gottschalks to explore sale or merger options

Fresno , Calif. – Western regional department store chain Gottschalks said today its board of directors has formed a special strategic committee to “identify and evaluate various strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value.”

The retailer listed alternatives: “ a revised business plan, operating partnerships, joint ventures, strategic alliances, share repurchases, a recapitalization, and the sale or merger of the company.”

Wall Street reacted favorably to the news; shares of the retailer traded briskly and were up nearly 12% in the morning, cooling to a 7% gain by mid-day.

Home textiles has not been a recent strong point at the 66-store chain; just yesterday in discussing October and third quarter sales results, president and ceo Jim Famalette said the home division continues to lag.

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