Gottschalks is a departmental store. It operates about 58 stores and other 3 specialty stores for apparel across 6 states – Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and Alaska. The company also runs in various locations as Harris-Gottschalks stores. The number of stores increased from 9 to 18 from 1985 to 1988. The expansion was also triggered after two family run-departmental store chains were brought under the brand in 1987 and 1988. An immigrant of German Jewish origin, Emil Gottschalk established the store in 1905 as a storehouse of dry goods. The first branch of the store came up up at Merced in 1961.