With signs of a possible end to the recession in recent economic data, Macy's confirmed yesterday it would open two new stores in the Central Valley of California in the fall. Both are former Gottschalks locations acquired in a bid following that clothing retailer’s bankruptcy proceedings. Located in River Park in Fresno and Visalia Mall in Visalia, the two stores could open prior to the holiday season, after minor re-modeling and re-fixturing. Macy’s says the stores combined could employ up to 250 associates. "With these new locations, Macy's is expanding its presence and serving new customers in the important Central Valley market," Terry J. Lundgren, Chairman, President and CEO of Macy's, Inc. said in a statement. "We look forward to offering a locally-focused combination of fashion and value for which Macy's is well known, and to being active members of the community."