San Diego

Gymboree Stores to Close, Including San Diego Locations

The company announced this week it would begin “an orderly wind-down” of all of its Gymboree and Crazy 8 locations and operations

Children’s clothing retailer Gymboree announced this week it is filing for bankruptcy protection for the second time and will soon begin to close all of its stores across the nation, including locations in San Diego County.

The San Francisco-based company said in a press release Wednesday it would begin “an orderly wind-down” of all of its Gymboree and Crazy 8 store locations and operations in the U.S. and Canada. It will also try to sell its Janie and Jack brand and intellectual property and online platform for Gymboree.

The company currently operates 380 Gymboree stores in the U.S. and Canada. When the company first sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June 2017, it ran 1,300 stores.

In San Diego, there are nearly a combined dozen Gymboree and Crazy 8 stores still open.

The locations, which will eventually shutter, are:

  • Gymboree in Westfield Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego
  • Gymboree in Fashion Valley
  • Gymboree in Westfield Plaza Bonita in National City
  • Crazy 8 in Westfield Plaza Bonita in National City
  • Gymboree in Westfield UTC
  • Gymboree in Westfield North County in Escondido
  • Gymboree Outlet at Carlsbad Premium Outlets
  • Gymboree Outlet at Las Americas Premium Outlets in San Ysidro
  • Crazy 8 in Parkway Plaza
  • Crazy 8 in Otay Ranch Town Center in Chula Vista
  • Crazy 8 in Escondido Promenade

In 2017, two other San Diego Gymboree stores closed: one in Parkway Plaza and one at The Shoppes at Carlsbad.

Shaz Kahng, CEO of the Gymboree Group since November 2018, sent an email to customers Thursday evening in which she discussed the “painful” path ahead for the company.

“We have weathered many ups and downs over our company’s history, and today’s changing retail environment has proven to be our greatest challenge,” read the note from Kahng. “That is what makes it so painful to share the news with you about where our company stands today.”

Kahng said the decision to file for bankruptcy has been “gut-wrenching.” She also said the company’s focus is on selling the Janie and Jack business with hopes that it will “continue to serve customers for years to come.”

The CEO said the stores’ websites would be closing soon. Gymboree Group will release more details shortly about the plans for its out-of-business sales for Gymboree and Crazy 8 stores.

Gymboree began in 1976, offering mom-and-baby classes in California’s Bay Area. In 1986, the company began making clothing for babies and children, growing to more than 1,000 stores across the U.S. and Canada, many of them based in shopping malls.

Gymboree was bought by the private equity firm Bain Capital for $1.8 billion in 2010 and taken private.

It is one of many retailers to suffer in the post-recession years like many mall-based retail stores.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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