UPDATE: Retailing 2015: New frontiers is a good PDF from PricewaterhouseCoopers and TNS Retail Forward discussing key trends impacting the future of retail. The bigger issue is that brick-and-mortar retail is full of challenges.
I first read about the relaunching of Gottschalks via twitter...thanks, CBS 47. This could be interesting. The downfall of this once publicly traded company is still impacting the economy as many of the former Gottschalks employees are counted among the region's unemployed.
Can it come back? Conlan, local twitter stud, suggested relaunching in downtown Fresno. This seems like a good idea (on the surface). Here are my three reasons:
1) Public Relations
They have roots in downtown Fresno and can be seen as part of the revitalization effort. Spin control? Maybe. But I think it is also a good opportunity to lead by example.
Plenty of good retail space available, incentives and a growing amount of foot traffic.
3) Urban Vibe
Well, if "It's a G Thing" didn't work, then maybe LL Cool J is available to do a little "Don't Call it a Comeback" this time around.
I really want to see this work. God knows we could use the jobs. I will follow with cautious curiosity.
What happens to the debts of the original BK?
How forgiving will the former customer be?
How much money will it take to build brand loyalty?
Is the past leadership the right leadership for this new venture?
Will they finally have an online presence?
Maybe Gottschalks is the "silver bullet" that will save downtown Fresno (I kid, I kid).