McCaulou’s signs on for building emptied by Gottschalks

New tenant plans mid-summer opening
By: Jenifer Gee Journal News Editor
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A Bay-Area based department store plans to open its doors in Auburn this summer. On Friday, City Manager Bob Richardson confirmed that McCaulou’s, a family-owned department store, has agreed to completely fill the 40,000-square-foot commercial space in the Auburn Town Center that was vacated by Gottschalks in July 2009. “It is a department store very similar to Gottschalks, maybe a touch more upscale,” Richardson said Friday morning. Richardson said the agreement has been finalized and the store and the city are currently working through the permitting process. “I think it’s an excellent fit for Auburn,” Richardson said. David McCaulou, president of McCaulou’s Inc., said the family-owned business has been in operation for over 40 years. He said the company owns 16 stores, with nine McCaulou’s stores in the Bay Area, including its flagship store in Lafayette and others in Oakland, Napa, Sonoma, Marin County and more. “We operate stores similar to Gottschalks but on the other hand, we’re totally different,” McCaulou said. McCaulou said the company’s stores carry just about everything found in a department retailer including menswear, women’s and children’s clothing, cosmetics, shoes, gifts and more. McCaulou said work has already begun on dressing up the Auburn location and said he’s aiming for a mid-summer opening. When rumors started circulating that the store might come to the vacant foothill commercial space, some residents started calling, firing off e-mails and sending letters to McCaulou’s encouraging them to open their doors in Auburn, according to Richardson and McCaulou. McCaulou said the encouragement wasn’t a deciding factor but a good sign for the company. “It was nice to know that we have people looking forward to us coming to Auburn,” he said. McCaulou said the company decided to expand into Auburn because the community seems like one in which the store fills a need and would do well. “We think it’s a perfect fit for our type of store,” McCaulou said. Reach Jenifer Gee at