Gymboree Reportedly Files For Bankruptcy With 900 Stores To Potentially Close
Yet another major children's clothing retailer is facing a swift end. Gymboree has allegedly filed for bankruptcy and may potentially be closing as many as 900 stores, according to a report by CNBC. Gymboree, Crazy 8, and Janie and Jack, all operate under Gymboree Inc. and will be affected by the alleged bankruptcy. However, the company is trying to sell its high-end brand, Janie and Jack, which could save an estimated 139 storefronts, according to the report.
In December, the retailer announced it would close 295 Crazy 8 locations, according to The Monitor.
Sadly, this isn't the first time Gymboree has run into financial distress. The brand previously filed for bankruptcy in 2017, resulting in 375 stores closing their doors in hopes of shedding an estimated $900 million in debt, according to CNBC.
The company hoped to refresh its brand and appeal to a larger audience by selling separates and accessories rather than full outfits. The upgrade also included a revamp of the company's retail stores, e-commerce sites, and the launch of a new mobile app, according to Fortune.
Unfortunately, it seems that was not enough to keep the retail giant from potentially closing up shop permanently, according to the Boston Business Journal.
At the time of the first bankruptcy, the company employed more than 11,000 people, including 10,500 hourly workers, according to reporting from the Indianapolis Star.
Gymboree first opened its doors in the 1970s as a music and activity company, which offered classes for parents and toddlers, according to the Indianapolis Star. It wasn't until 1980 that the company launched its chain of children's clothing retail shops that were popular in malls across the country, as the Indianapolis Star added. Gymboree Play and Music was sold in 2016 and is not affected by the bankruptcy, per Fortune.
Despite the low sales, many shoppers are sad to see the retailer go. "This is sad news... my boys have outgrown it but I always loved Gymboree clothes," one mom wrote on Twitter.
Another expressed disappointment that she wouldn't be able to shop there in the future, "I’m mad y’all letting Gymboree go out of business before I can have my kid."
Even celeb gossip columnist Perez Hilton, gave Gymboree a shout out on Twitter when the news hit.
There is a bright side to all this — most of the retailer's clothing will be going on sale. As of today, the site is offering 40 percent off most items and the discounts should get better, according to Country Living.
Gymboree is just one of many children-centric retailers who have filed for bankruptcy over the past few years, with the most notable being Toys R Us.
The move affected Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores nationwide, according to The New York Times. The company then reinvented itself as Geoffrey's Toy Box, selling Toys R Us branded toys inside Kroger stores for the holiday season, according to The Washington Post.
Payless ShoeSource and tween clothing retailer Rue21 also filed for bankruptcy last year, according to USA Today.
In a world where online shopping is becoming the norm, brick and mortar stores are facing more competition. Gymboree has not made a formal statement as of the time of publication.