New tenant for Gottschalks store?

‘Hip’ women’s apparel firm seeks to buy out lease

The Chico Mall got some good news last week when women’s clothing retailer Forever 21 announced it had submitted a bid to take over as many as 17 former Gottschalks outlets, including the one in Chico.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, Forever 21 is a Los Angeles-based seller of “hip, affordable clothing” with 450 outlets. Despite the down economy, it’s been on an expansion binge lately, snapping up 14 former Mervyns leases last year. Now it wants to buy three former Gottschalks stores and lease as many as 14 more.

“We’re pleased with the opportunity to provide our fashion merchandise to a wider array of customers and to provide jobs at this difficult time,” Executive Vice President Larry Meyer told the Times.

Forever 21’s bid for the stores will be considered at a bankruptcy auction to be held today (Thursday, May 28).