SeaTac Mall to get new tenant

"Get ready for a super sale.The Lamonts at SeaTac Mall, a long-time anchor tenant, is one of 38 stores being sold to California-based Gottschalks, Inc. Before the switchover is official in mid-July, Lamonts at SeaTac Mall is expected to liquidate its inventory, said SeaTac Mall general manager Bob Flyday. Lamonts has been an anchor tenant at SeaTac Mall since the mall opened in 1976. Lamonts Apparel Inc., which operates casual lifestyle and apparel stores, has been struggling financially for more than two years. The chain filed for bankruptcy in January. Like Lamonts, Gottschalks offers an inventory of brand-name clothes and cosmetics.Lamonts chairman Alan R. Schlesinger said the deal will be good for long-time Lamonts customers.Gottschalks and Lamonts are similar in that we are both premiere retailers in many of our markets, Schlesinger said. We are very pleased that Lamonts' communities will continue to be serviced in the manner they have come to expect.Gottschalks operates 42 department stores and 20 specialty apparel stores. All but two stores, one in Klamath Falls, Ore. and the Lakewood Mall in Lakewood, are located in California. If the bankruptcy court in Seattle approves the purchase, Gottschalks will acquire all of Lamonts' store leases, fixtures and equipment.A hearing on the asset purchase is scheduled for May 15. Flyday sees the deal as positive for the SeaTac Mall. I don't know much about Gottschalks, but I've talked to malls in California that say it's a good store, he said. I think for the most part we're real positive about them coming in.Most of the Lamonts employees will stay at their department stores. But the company's 115 corporate employees based in Kirkland will be released to pursue other employment opportunities, according to a news release from Lamonts.Gottschalks will join three other anchor tenants at SeaTac Mall - Mervyn's, Sears and The Bon."

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