The Harris Company and Gottschalks

Page Created 9/9/2007

Page Updated 8/22/2017

New Additions to the page.

I have decided to add Gottschalks to the Harris Company since Harris was eventually bought by Gottschalks and now both are fallen flags.

The Harris Company first opened in 1905. The flagship store was rebuilt at the corner of Third Street and E Street in 1927. In the family's first big expansion, they built a new, and quite smart store as the anchor for the new Riverside Plaza shopping mall in 1957, the first large non-downtown shopping destination in the entire area. Expansion continued during the 1960s and '70s, and the Harris family was able to hold its own against the Los Angeles-based Broadway and Robinson's chain stores which opened local branches in the 1970s through a concentration on local tastes and needs of their customers, as well as a well-earned reputation for offering high quality merchandise. In 1981, Spanish retailer El Corte Ingles, S.A. acquired The Harris Company and its nine stores that included Bakersfield, Hemet, Indio, Moreno Valley, Palmdale, Redlands, Riverside, San Bernardino and Victorville. The Harris Company was acquired by Gottschalks in 1998. The stores were initially renamed Harris-Gottschalks. Two Riverside County locations, one in Indio and the other located in Moreno Valley, California as well as locations in Bakersfield, California continue to use the Harris-Gottschalks name. No other locations use the Harris-Gottschalks name. The original store in downtown San Bernardino was closed on January 31, 1999. To this day, all of the stores acquired by Gottschalks remain open and in business, with the exception of the downtown San Bernardino store. Gottschalks continues to use the "Harris" name as a private-label brand name for men's and women's shoes. (From Wikipedia)

On January 14, 2009, Gottschalks filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This bankruptcy became a liquidation on March 31, 2009. (From Wikipedia)

San Bernardino - Original Store, later the Central City/Carousel Mall Store (Closed)

Sign on store This was on the E Street side of the store taken, November 7, 2006 (Andrew Novak Photo)

East Side of Store Taken from E Street on November 7, 2006 (Andrew Novak Photo)

East Side of Store Taken from E Street on January 23, 2007 (Andrew Novak Photo)

South Side of Store Taken from the parking lot on January 23, 2007 (Andrew Novak Photo)

Indio Store (Closed)

Front of Store Taken from the parking lot on June 18, 2007 (Andrew Novak Photo)

Sign on front of Store Taken from the parking lot on June 18, 2007 (Andrew Novak Photo)

Redlands Mall (Closed)

Back of the store Taken from the parking lot on November 7, 2006. (Andrew Novak Photo)


Gottschalks was founded by German Jewish immigrant Emil Gottschalk in 1904 as a dry goods store in downtown Fresno, California. Ten years later, the store grew enough to move into another building downtown with ten times the amount of space. Before his passing in 1939, Emil passed control to his brother-in-law, Henry Korn and his nephew, Abe Blum. The company opened its first branch store in Merced in 1961 and new stores in Visalia and Fresno. In a strategy to win over teenage baby-boomers, Gottschalks launched Bobbie West, a chain of junior apparel stores, in the late 1960s. Village East shops, which offered plus-sized women's clothing, were launched in 1970. Eventually the would grow to operated 58 department stores and three specialty apparel stores in six western states (California, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Nevada). Prior to liquidation, it was the largest independently owned, publicly traded department store chain in the United States. On January 14, 2009, Gottschalks filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This bankruptcy became a liquidation on March 31, 2009. (From Wikipedia)



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