Gymboree is closing 350 of its stores in what it deems to be a crucial step to restructure its business and emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The kids’ apparel chain said late Tuesday that it would start closing the stores beginning next on July 18.
Gymboree, based in San Francisco, filed for Chapter 11 protection last month, at which time it operated 1,300 stores under its namesake banner as well as the Janie and Jack and Crazy 8 chains. The retailer has lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the last few years and hasn’t reported an annual profit since 2011. Gymboree has struggled as more shoppers avoid malls, and retailers like Children’s Place (PLCE), Target (TGT) and Kohl’s (KSS), not to mention Amazon.com (AMZN), have stepped up their children’s clothing.
“Right-sizing our store footprint is a central part of our efforts to ensure Gymboree emerges from this restructuring process as a stronger and more competitive organization,” Daniel Griesemer, President and CEO of Gymboree said in a statement.
Prior to bankruptcy, the company had been saddled with $1 billion in debt stemming from its buyout by Bain Capital in 2010, and made the filing to restructure that debt. This spring, Gymboree had warned investors it didn’t project having enough cash to get through the following 12 months.
Gymboree is in good company. Chains to have filed for bankruptcy in the recent past include, Payless ShoeSource, Aéropostale, American Apparel, PacSun, Wet Seal, The Sports Authority and True Religion. Other retailers to be struggling with high debt loads resulting from leveraged buyouts include J.Crew and Neiman Marcus. And many other retailers, including Macy’s (M), J.C. Penney (JCP), Michael Kors (KORS), Sears (SHLD) and Staples (SPLS) have also closed stores lately.
To look which Gymboree stores are closing, consult the company’s website at: https://gymboreerestructuring.com/gymboree-stores/