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Chinese invest $30 billion in California-based retailer

Gottschalks, a Fresno, Calif.-based department store chain, announced Friday that a Chinese company has agreed to invest $30 million.

Gottschalks and Everbright Development Overseas Ltd. also will team up to establish direct sourcing and consignment product sales at Gottschalks and launch a new wholesale business.

According to a news release, Everbright's investment will include a $15 million acquisition of newly-issued shares of Gottschalks common stock.

Gottschalks and Everbright had been working on a deal since late September.

Earlier this month, Gottschalks reported a 13.4 percent decline in sales in October from the same period a year earlier. For the 2008 fiscal year that began in February, total sales were $378 million, down 10.9% from 2007. The last time Gottschalks registered a monthly sales gain over the previous year was March 2007.

Gottschalks operates 59 stores in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Nevada and Idaho, as well as three specialty apparel stores.

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