Children’s clothing retailer the Gymboree Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as expected Wednesday and said it will close 800 stores, but is working to save its 140 upscale Janie and Jack stores. Under the bankruptcy plan, the retail chain would close more than 800 Gymboree and Crazy 8 stores.
The stores could close as early as this week, according to reports.
In addition to seeking a buyer for its Janie and Jack stores, the Gymboree Group wants to sell its intellectual property and online platform. Gymboree Play & Music, which offers developmental play music and art classes for young children and separated from the Gymboree Group in 2016 to become a standalone company, isn’t affected by the bankruptcy filing.
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In its bankruptcy filing, the Gymboree Group asked the court to allow it to continue honoring gift certificates to all of its store brands for 30 days, but it immediately ended its GymBucks and Gymboree Rewards programs, Business Insider reported.
Though “highly disappointed” that it must close its Gymboree and Crazy 8 stores, Gymboree Group CEO Shaz Kahng said in a statement that “we are focused on using this process to preserve the Janie and Jack business — a strong brand that is poised to grow — by pursuing the sale of the business as a going concern.”
“As we move ahead, we are working to minimize the impact on our employees, customers, vendors and other stakeholders,” he said.
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Like many brick-and-mortar stores, Gymboree has struggled to remain afloat against increased online competition.
The company first filed for bankruptcy in July 2017 and closed 350 stores. At the time, the company said in a statement that closing those stores would allow the company to “continue to deliver quality merchandise and superior service to our customers.”
That action allowed the company to shed $900 million in debt.
Image: In this July 9, 2005, file photo a security mirror shows shoppers at a Gymboree store at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, Calif. Children’s clothing retailer Gymboree has filed bankruptcy protection for a second time in as many years and will begin winding down all operations. The San Francisco company said late Wednesday, that it will close all of its Gymboree and Crazy 8 stores, and will to try to sell its Janie and Jack business, intellectual property and online business. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)