I’m still trying to wrap my brain around business reporter Bethany Clough’s report in today’s Bee that women’s clothing retailer Forever 21 has its eye on a bunch of dying Gottschalks stores, including Fashion Fair and River Park. Isn’t that like, say, a store the size of Radio Shack expanding into Circuit City? Are we really going to get stuck with THREE floors of bright-and-boppy mall-girl fashions targeted at “Twilight” fans? (Actually, Forever 21 says it’ll add men’s clothes as well.)
OK, I’ll admit I’ve never been in Forever 21 except to take a shortcut through to the parking lot, but what I saw certainly didn’t seem to fit the general-interest department-store bill to me. Three floors, two big Fresno stores? Something tells me that all those loyal little old lady-Gottschalks costumers who have been shopping there since 1684 or whenever the venerable chain was founded aren’t going to find much to buy in its replacement.
Update 1 p.m.: Here’s Bethany’s news blog post on the subject.
Update 4 p.m.: Wow, stuff happens fast in the retail world. Bethany reports online that Forever 21 already has dropped its River Park plans. (Did you get to take a lunch break today, Bethany? What do you think will break by the end of the day — that Sak’s Fifth Avenue is moving to Fresno?)