Children’s clothing retailer Gymboree Group Inc. is filing for bankruptcy for the second time in as many years. An anonymous and confidential source told the Wall Street Journal that the company plans to close all 900 of its remaining stores, which operate under the Gymboree, Janie and Jack and Crazy 8 brands. They may attempt to sell the higher-end Janie and Jack brand, in which case those stores could remain open.
Gymboree originally launched in the 1970s, offering play and music classes, and added clothing stores in the 1980s. The company first filed for bankruptcy in June 2017, at which time it closed 375 of its more than 1,280 stores. In July 2016, the company sold Gymboree Group Play & Music, which offers play, music and art classes for small children and their parents. It now operates as a standalone company, owned by Gymbo Global Education Group, so those locations will not be affected.
In 2018, the company made changes in an attempt to survive the bankruptcy and emerge stronger, including selling separates and accessories in lieu of complete outfits, updating retail stores, upgrading the online shopping site and launching a mobile shopping app.
This latest news comes amidst a spate of other closures of once-thriving brick-and-mortar retail chains, including those that catered to children, like Toys R Us. The company shuttered all of its stores in the United States in June 2018 though, by October 2018, plans to revitalize the company were already underway. The ultimate fate of the company remains to be determined, as former employees begin to receive severance checks and discount chain Ollie’s buys hundreds of the company’s former stores.
New York City toy store FAO Schwartz also announced plans to reopen in November 2018 after closing its doors just three years prior. The store reopened at a new location at Rockefeller Plaza in time for the holiday season.