Kids' clothing chain Gymboree files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Children’s clothing retailer Gymboree Corp. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it looks to reorganize and reduce its debt.

As part of the reorganization, the San Francisco firm said it plans to close “certain stores,” but the exact timing and final list of closures are still being determined. According to court documents, up to 450 stores could be closed.

The privately held company said that the majority of its stores will remain open and that Gymboree will conduct business as usual.

Gymboree said it has signed a restructuring support agreement with a majority of its term loan lenders and filed voluntary Chapter 11 petitions Sunday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The company said it has received $35 million in new debtor-in-possession financing from the majority of its term loan lenders and up to $273.5 million in additional financing from existing lenders.

“The support of our lenders and their new financing commitment underscores their confidence in the company,” Gymboree Chief Executive Daniel Griesemer said in a statement. “We expect to move through this process quickly and emerge as a stronger organization that is better positioned in today’s evolving retail landscape.”

Gymboree owns three brands: Gymboree, Janie and Jack, and Crazy 8. As of April, the company said it operated a total of 1,281 retail stores in the U.S. and Canada.

Gymboree is just the latest company to face headwinds in the changing retail landscape. Last week, Ascena Retail Group Inc., which owns brands such as Ann Taylor, said it would close more than 250 stores over the next two years, and could close an additional 400 locations if the company could not negotiate “specific rent negotiations” with landlords.

Also last week, Sears Holdings Corp. said it would close 66 Sears and Kmart stores across the U.S., including four in California.

samantha.masunaga@latimes.com

Twitter: @smasunaga


UPDATES:

8:45 a.m.: This article was updated with information about how many stores could be closed.

This article was originally published at 8:05 a.m.

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