The Gottschalks drama - will they survive or won't they? - might be settled as early as today. At some point the Fresno retailer's bankruptcy lawyers will file papers in court declaring whether anyone else is planning to bid on Gottschalks' assets.
So far there's only one bid in hand - from a consortium of liquidators. Those are the so-called lead bidders who surfaced a couple of weeks ago.
Late yesterday, our colleagues at the Fresno Bee reported that two other companies might bid. One is another liquidator, Gordon Brothers. The other is an as-yet unnamed Chinese company interested in keeping Gottschalks open.
If one or both of those bidders do indeed make a run at Gottschalks, then an auction will be held next week at Gottschalks' lawyers' office in Wilmington, Del.
Of course, if the Chinese bow out and only Gordon Brothers enters the auction, there won't be a lot of suspense. It will be a duel between two groups of liquidators for the right to conduct a going-out-of-business sale.
UPDATE: The Chinese are in. A firm called Shandong Commercial Group General Corp. is entering the bidding, with the intent of keeping Gottschalks open. Gordon Brothers is bidding, too.
More details here and in Friday's paper.