Gymboree is closing 350 stores, including 24 in California

Children’s apparel retailer Gymboree Corp. said it would close about 350 of its Gymboree, Janie and Jack and Crazy 8 stores nationwide — including 24 in California — as it restructures its business after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June.

In Southern California, the company will close 11 stores, two in Los Angeles County.

The San Francisco company aims to reduce its debt by $900 million with the restructuring while keeping most of its stores open and running as usual.

“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,” Gymboree President and Chief Executive Daniel Griesemer said in a statement.

As people shop online more, traditional retailers such as Gymboree and shopping malls in general have been hit hard. This year alone, Macy’s Inc., Sears Holding Corp., J.C. Penney Co. and Payless ShoeSource Inc. are among the chains that have announced store closures.

Moody’s Investor Service said in February that the number of “distressed” retailers — vendors carrying exceptionally large amounts of debt — was at its highest point since the Great Recession in 2008-09.

Gymboree was founded in 1976. As of April, it operated 1,281 stores in the U.S. and Canada across its three brands.

In Southern California, the company is shutting Gymboree stores in Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Barstow, Carlsbad, El Cajon, El Centro, Santa Ana and Westminster; Crazy 8 stores in Corona and Westminster; and a Janie and Jack store in Thousand Oaks.

Closing sales begin next Tuesday.

A full list of the stores that are closing is posted on Gymboree’s restructuring website.

ethan.varian@latimes.com

@ethanvarian

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