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Gymboree Is Officially Filing For Bankruptcy — And Closing 700 Stores!

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Gymboree Clearance Tag

All of those cute kiddo clothes…

It’s coming to the end of an era for one of our favorite children’s clothing stores, Gymboree. After some talk of a potential bankruptcy filing, The Gymboree Group has officially declared bankruptcy for the second time in less than two years. It will begin shutting down 700 of its Gymboree and Crazy 8 stores, though an affiliate of Goldman Sacs has set the floor for an auction of the high-end Janie and Jack brand.

“We are saddened and highly disappointed that we must move ahead with a wind-down of the Gymboree and Crazy 8 businesses. At the same time, we are focused on using this process to preserve the Janie and Jack business – a strong brand that is poised to grow – by pursuing a sale of the business as a going concern.” – Shaz Kahng, CEO of Gymboree Group

It was only two summers ago in June 2017 when Gymboree closed around 350 of its stores. In the process, Gymboree managed to reduce their debt by $900 million, and we got to see tons of hot clearance deals!

Gymboree Store Front with Closing Sign

The closing shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to any investors as Gymboree Group shared a press release in December 2018, announcing they were undergoing a “strategic review process to reposition the company”. This meant specifically evaluating their retail footprint with intentions to close all Crazy 8 brand storefronts and significantly reduce the number of Gymboree stores as well.

Now that the bankruptcy filing is official, it’s safe to say that we can expect to see similar clearout sales from the first bankruptcy once the stores begin the process of selling off inventory for closing.

We’ll share more details as we have them and keep you all posted!


Emily is an evergreen writer specializing in health, beauty, fashion & living frugally. She has degrees in Business & Communication. Connect with Emily on LinkedIn


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Comments 67

  1. Krissy

    I really use to love Gymboree when my kids were little. The quality exceeded most kids brands and they offered unique and classic clothing. I loved the embroidered/ appliques on the clothes rather than screen printing. I would wait for their 2x a year sale and buy a season ahead for my kids. It was worth it! However over the past 4 to 5 years the quality has gone downhill. More trendy, more screen printing, lower quality fabrics. Makes me sad! Our local mall has just lost 2 anchor stores in a few months time of each other, our Childrens Place closes in the next weeek or two, and now our Gymboree and Crazy 8. Our mall is going to be a ghost town!

    • shop4mybabies

      I completely agree, when my 21 and 19 year old were small, until about 8 years old I bought their entire wardrobes on Gymboree. I spent about 8 thousand a year, and I would buy them custom made matching shoes and hair corkers, I had a big time addiction and loved their stuff. It started going downhill in quality and my 14 year old mostly only wore their hand me downs…I knew all the line names and the employees on first name basis. A lot of the times I made my money back after 2 kids wore the stuff selling it on ebay. It’s definitely a sad day for us when I think of all the fun memories my girls had in their adorable clothes

  2. Heather

    How the heck are we supposed to dress our kids if all of the stores are closing?! It seems like it’s getting harder and harder to find good, affordable clothing.

    • Cathy

      With internet shopping booming I think we’re going to see more stores closing. It’s a new world. I didn’t go to toys r us often but miss them so much now when I need to buy toys. The selection at Target and Walmart is dwindling which pretty much forces us to shop online more and more.

    • Marie

      Target has really cute kids clothes!

      • Anonymous

        I agree Target has cute kids clothes but their Cat & Jack, even their Cloud Island baby stuff, hasn’t held up more than 1 kid with almost all of the stuff I have bought of theirs. Gymboree, however, has been such great quality, it has lasted 2-3 kids as hand-me-downs.

        • Jen

          Target guarantees all their brand clothing for a year. Hold onto your receipts and if you have any issue with the clothing, bring it back. Cat & Jack is Target’s brand.

          • Staci

            That’s good to know. Almost all our Cat and Jack leggings get holes in them within a few months. Sometimes sooner. I get tired of trying to sew them.

          • Anonymous

            I did not know this, thank you!

            • Candace

              I just did this and took back 3 pairs of cat and jack jeans that got holes after 6 months. Mind you, I was very happy on quality. I have a boy who is maybe the hardest on jeans as you have ever seen a child! The way they did mine was that since it was after the 90 days I did have to do a no-receipt return basically so be aware of that since Target has maximums for that in a year. But they did it no problem and just did a refund. He already needed the next size up so I turned around and bought new pairs. We used to do all Childrens Place jeans and the older hand me downs are fine but the new jeans are terrible quality.

        • laura

          I go to consignment sales and find great gymboree, janie and jac, gap, mini boden clothing. I agree clothing now seems cheap and cheesy and if you want quality you usually have to pay a ton of money. Thift stores are also worth looking at to find some hidden treasures. I just found shorts for my kids from gap for 1.50 each from a thrift store.

  3. summerq4

    I still have tons of gift cards and merchandise credit for Gymboree. Guess I better use it.

  4. Marie

    My mall nearby has a crazy 8 which I LOVE to shop for my kids and ive gotten to know the employees there pretty good and they just told me that they will be closing the store😕😟
    I am so sad that was my go to store great prices and good quality clothes!

  5. Pinkrazrbrd3

    Our crazy 8 and Gymboree will probably close but we just got a carters and osh gosh which I like better so I’m happy

  6. jp

    So sad! I’ve been getting super good deals the past couple years for my kids. I like that my girls can dress like little girls and not pre teens like most other stores.

    • Sandy

      Agreed!

  7. Sheila

    Love Gymboree clothes. However I hardly ever buy from the store because the sale/clearance prices are much higher than their online store

  8. Michelle

    When my kids who are now 14 and 16 were little I would spend WAY to much on clothes at Gymboree because of the quality and design… I loved their collections that we’re super cute and well made and let my kids look like little kids… However when we decided 4 years ago to have another baby I have bought very little from them…. They are basically the children’s place and are no longer special or unique… I really loved Janie and Jack even with the high price tag but their design and quality have gone way down too!!!! I now shop a couple of online boutiques I found on Facebook…

    • Tiffany

      I totally agree! My girls are 27/24 and they were dressed head to toe in Gymboree when they were younger. I have to say it’s bedn over 10/15 years it’s been going down hill quality/style wise. Sad to see them go.

      • shop4mybabies

        completely agree about the last decade has been a decline

  9. Sue

    My daughter liked Children’s Place & they just closed at my local mall. While I don’t shop Gymboree, I’ve always liked the clothes at Crazy 8 & now we might lose them. My Carter & Osh Kosh store never seems to have bigger sizes. My local JcPenney’s, Macy’s & discount stores like TJ Maxx all have small kids clothing departments. My daughter is just growing into Justice, but who knows how long they will be around. At some point all we will have left is Target, Walmart & Amazon.

  10. Kate

    I have $125.00 in gymbicks hopefully I can still use it…..

  11. Lindsay

    I’ll be honest, I’m bummed. Even if their quality has gone down, they were still a step better than carters, Kohl’s (brand, esp jumping beans) and the children’s place. I will add that I only shopped their online sales and generally shopped ahead on sizes. I did like I could dress all of my kids (9, 6, 4, 2), in all age ranges and both genders) in similar color groupings around the holidays and felt like I was getting a good deal with a coupon or sale. I loved their Gym Go active wear for my daughter and was bummed to see them clear that out first and not offer more. Janie and Jack is so classic and I love it, but doesn’t offer the range of “play” clothes at price points that I’m willing to pay.

  12. Trudy

    Aww shoot! I have always loved Gymboree. I am still using some of the clothes I bought for my now-13 year old son for my 4 year old (and passed to my nephew in between). I always thought they were great quality and their boxer briefs are my favorite for my little guy. I used to go nuts with their girls’ collections for my daughter, too. Having said that, I don’t buy as much new clothing at Gymboree for my 4 year old- probably because I just don’t get to the store that often and the prices are too high unless on clearance. So I guess I am contributing to the demise of Gymboree, which makes me sad.

  13. Janet

    Noooooooo !!!!!
    I love gymbore

  14. SUZY

    When Gymboree did their whole ‘rebranding’ this last year, they changed their whole look and lost ALOT of customers !! I used to spend lots of money there and loved their clothes, but they honestly are trying to be another GAP or H&M – there is nothing really cute anymore and they are trying to make my little kids look like teenagers with no style. It’s so generic and nothing matches – but yet they want to charge a hefty price tag for the things they do have. I’m not surprised about the closures/bankruptcy. It was just a matter of time. I’ve been picking up things at the Gymboree outlet and some older vintage sets on eBay – so if you still want some of the nostalgia, it’s still out there you just have to look harder for it.
    We’ll miss you Gymboree !!

    • Leslie

      I completely agree with you!! I used to spend a ton of money there and my sons entire wardrobe was from there. Not anymore. Nothing cute anymore. Sad.

    • Monica

      I used to love their clothes but the rebranding really made it difficult to buy the clothes. Clothes appeared so drab and blah. I stopped in yesterday to tell my store I miss shopping there. The managers have watched my kids grow up. It’s sad.

    • Alex

      This! Along with clothing with a huge, wide silhouette, which far outstrips my skinny kids. The dresses are like sacks.

      But the last nail for me, was a shirt that was designed with a back opening, and was above the belly button. For my 6 year old. Seriously? You think I want to dress her like a hooker? I haven’t purchased anything other than jammies in 2 years because the clothes have been crap. Terrible styles, terrible colors.

      I’m so sad.

  15. K

    I don’t shop at Gymboree but do shop at crazy 8. So sad to see all these store closings. My poor mall will have hardly any stores left

  16. Laura

    I’m definitely not surprised. As many people have already said, gymboree used to be cute and great quality. I hate their new line of clothes. I used to shop there all the time. I never do anymore, except the outlet which still has the old lines of cute clothes. Bad management completely missed the mark

  17. Luda

    The reason the quality is down because we demand cheaper clothes. They can’t compete with Walmart and cheaper brands. Same thing in the entire fashion industry. But I think we all know that.

  18. Laura

    I see this happening a lot with stores. It’s sad because you just can’t beat online shopping. But I also have to mention that these stores fail at customer service (I’m not speaking on behalf of Gymboree- I’ve never shopped there), but even just w other ones like J Crew- I shopped online and my order came damaged – it was ripped on arrival! Have such horrid customer service. The employees argue with you and refuse to cooperate. Employee argued w me on the defective item and told me I should be grateful!! No joke! That’s how you go out of business!

    • Jodi Ann

      I totally agree with you. The one thing that brick and mortar stores have over online stores is their customer service representatives. And most of them fail miserably in that department! For the life of me, I can’t figure out why the executives of these stores can’t see that. Invest in quality employees and you stand a chance. I always thought Kohl’s has great employees…I’m wondering if there’s a connection there.

  19. JenniferS

    We have enjoyed Gymboree clothing over the years. I always buy their underwear always has such a great fit with such fun graphics and bright colors for kids! I’ll be looking to buy ahead larger sizes with this information 🙁 Thank you Hip2Save Team for posting. We’ll miss you Gymboree!

  20. Lin

    I have a gift card, I am in a small town without a gymboree but will be going to a location with a gymboree over the weekend. Ordering online is usual not as good deals in my experience so I prefer stores if possible. Does anyone know when it will file, how immediate is this? TIA

  21. Sarah

    I am sooo sad 😢 I love Gymboree and even though the styles and quality went down, for the price (I wait to buy things until they are $5 or under) it was the BEST deal around!!! I will have to buy a lot of clothes when they all go on sale, thanks Hip2Save!

  22. BrBa

    Sorry not sorry. Extremely overpriced for mediocre quality items…not surprised at all by this news.

  23. lisa

    I had no idea, I just started shopping at Gymboree 6 months ago. Going to be sad if it closes, I like it the girls clothes soooooo much more than carters and children’s place.

  24. A.B.

    Will the online shopping still be available?

  25. Nita

    Too much competition with big box stores like Walmart and all in 1 stores like old navy and the Gap and J. Crew etc., where you can get all your adult clothes and your kids clothes all in 1 stop shop. It’s easier.

  26. Laura

    Sad for the landscape, but not surprising. I have only ever bought something there when it was on clearance. And even then it was pricey. I much prefer the Childrens place, carters, target and kohls for kids clothes. Kids grow too fast to spend too much on their clothes.

  27. Breanna

    I have gotten some amazing deals at Crazy 8 for my daughters. I’m really sad to see this store go because I always stock up on winter jackets at the end of the season sales. You can’t beat $4.99 for nice quality winter jackets! 😕

  28. jane

    does anyone know if you can still use your gift cards at those stores? TIA

    • Kate

      They requested 30 days from the courts. I would use it ASAP! They are no longer accepting Gymboree rewards or gymbucks.

  29. Aimee

    This was my go to when my kids were little. They had modest styles and carried slims for my son. I bought everything from pjs and underwear to Christmas dresses and every thing in between. They always had matching hats and their underwear was the best quality! I will miss them in a couple years when I get some grandchildren. Where will I shop? Amazon & Target will be the only stores left. 🙁

  30. Jessica

    I shop at crazy 8 for my little girl they have cute summer things but honestly I don’t shop unless it’s a sale I can’t see spending 10 and up on shirts we are a one income military family with 3 kids and my boys are now into popular name brand stuff so they don’t like when I get them shirts with cute characters anymore lol I would get them the bigger boy looking stuff when they would have the 12..99 and under sale I got a jacket for 12.99 and my oldest wore it for 2 years now my younger boy wears it and it is super good quality it’s held up to all their nonsense so that coat was worth the money honestly I get stuff for my little girl on Walmart.com you have to look a few times a week but they have crazy good deals on there for in store pickup (the pickup people know me well) sometimes and I shop seasons ahead at carters hate to see these stores closing because all it’s going to do is make the competitions pricing go up because there really won’t be any competition for them to keep prices reasonable especially Oshkosh they are expensive and there shirts suck I bought my younger boy a nice spring shirt from there once and I paid like 12 for it and I washed it once and it looked like we had it for years after one wash …..

  31. kanick

    I love Crazy 8. I’m so sad now. Guess I go and get some deals for the last time.

  32. Katie

    I don’t like their new line of clothing, but for the past 6 years my children have been clothed in mostly past season Gymboree clearance bought with 20% coupons that come in the Parents magazine. This explains why the January issue didn’t have that coupon.

  33. Pretygirlygirl

    They are just too expensive. Even with most sales they are ridiculously over priced. $22 for a windbreaker or $12 for a tee on a 50% off sale is just outrageous. Their style isn’t any cuter than the cat & jack target brand. Target is more convenient. They ship to me free all year. AND they run much better sales! $4 tees and $8 jeans is waaay better than Gymboree will ever be. PLUS cat & jack allows you to return items a year later if they didn’t hold up quality wise. Not sad to see them go.

    • amy111

      Agreed. We never shopped there until last summer. I had 4 $10 codes to use up from a contest. I was shocked how expensive their clothing was and had a super hard time using each $10 code. I wasn’t really impressed by the prints for girls, which is always easy.

  34. Erin

    I thought Gymboree went out of business years ago! I always liked the look of their clothes but my kids looked weirdly cutesy in them so I didn’t shop there as much as I liked. I’ll miss Crazy 8, tho. My daughter is getting old enough to select her own clothes and I planned to take her there since the clothes were age appropriate.

    • Nita

      Two thumbs up for age appropriate clothes for kids! Children’s place is getting questionable with that.. there’s a fine line..

  35. Neely

    An alternative would be GAP online. I know some make think it is expensive, but they almost always have 40-50% off online sales almost weekly, including sale items. I find there clothes to be of a heavier cotton and do not get destroyed after one wash or dry. I have gotten tee shirts for less than $4. The sweatpants hold up very well.

    • Darcie

      I agree! GAP has really good sales often.

  36. Jess

    I am honestly not surprised. When my 9 year old daughter was younger, I shopped exclusively at Gymboree. The quality was amazing. T shirts were made of this thicker cotton with embroidery and rarely showed wash wear at the end of the season. The line designs were adorable and age appropriate. I have a 3 year old now and purchased a few things that didn’t hold up after a single wash! A lot of the designs are more gender neutral and less girly which is fine for other stores but Gymboree was known for adorable, cutesy clothing with unmatched construction.

  37. lilchristy

    I love Janie & Jack 😟 This is sad thanks for the heads up.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      I know! Such a bummer. You’re welcome!

  38. Amy

    I’m not surprised. The one near me has a very rude manager and they eliminated dressing rooms years ago. They tell you to take it home and try it then bring it back if it doesn’t work. Wow, that’s convenient. Bad service made a difference in my opinion.

  39. Marie

    Speaking of stores in trouble, I just went to Bath & Body and the cashier told me I couldn’t return items purchased online in the store for a refund, even with the receipt! Wait, what?! I have always done that when I needed to, over the years. It also still says I can online. The manager then did it for me, but I suspect a new -ugly- policy is in the works. Strangely, she refused to put it back to my card and insisted I take cash. Huh?

  40. mary

    Oh no! I still liked their clothes better than most stores near me. Their undies were the best, they fit well and and much better quality ie last longer than the store brands. The socks are cotton and not polyester blends. They last and dont shrink.. anybody got recommendations for a replacement brand?

  41. Kate

    I just lost $125.00 worth of gymbucks…. 🙁 I called them and they will not be honoring any gymbucks earned.

    • Anonymous

      Really??? Do you think it could vary store manager to store manager? Or could corporate maybe give you a coupon instead or anything in replacement? Now I am wondering if they will even accept my gift card anymore???

      • Jen

        I was able to use a gift card online yesterday, 1/17/19. I wouldn’t wait if you have one. I waited too long when Toys ‘R’ Us went out of business and missed the opportunity to use my last gift card.

  42. nikis22

    Just officially got their letter from the company that they filed bankruptcy: “LETTER TO OUR FAMILY OF GYMBOREE GROUP CUSTOMERS

    Dear Customers & Friends:

    Last week a customer reached out to me to share feedback about her experiences shopping at one of our stores for years. This customer had managed to track down my cell phone number and contacted me with the sole purpose of enthusiastically complimenting one of our store employees for always doing a fantastic job and going above and beyond. To that customer, I say thank you for showing your appreciation, and to that store employee (and our many others), I say bravo for representing our brands – Gymboree, Janie and Jack, and Crazy 8 – in the best possible way. You guys truly rock.

    Since our start in 1976, we have grown from a small, local provider of mom-and-baby classes in the San Francisco Bay Area to a kids’ clothing retailer with three great brands and a loyal customer base of parents and kids. Our entire team has strived to deliver the best customer experiences, like the one just mentioned. We have also helped parents celebrate childhood by providing high quality, fun clothing that allowed their kids to play, relax, or get messy in. Over the years our talented employees have built brands that people – parents, grandparents, and kids – love and feel a deep emotional connection with.

    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. That is what makes it so painful to share the news with you about where our company stands today.

    When I was asked to step in as CEO of Gymboree Group in November 2018, we initiated a thorough review of our operations. Unfortunately, we have made the gut-wrenching decision to voluntarily file for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and for Gymboree, Inc. to commence proceedings under the Bankruptcy Insolvency Act in Canada.  We will  wind-down our Gymboree, Gymboree Outlet and Crazy 8 businesses and close those stores. At the same time, we are focused on using this process to preserve Janie and Jack by pursuing a sale of the business, with the hope that it will continue to serve customers for many years to come.

    This is a heartbreaking outcome for our many dedicated employees and our treasured customers with whom we have built many strong relationships over the past four decades. While our Gymboree, Gymboree Outlet and Crazy 8 stores and websites will be closing soon, we will remain focused on ensuring we continue to deliver the exceptional service you have come to expect from us.

    I want to personally thank our employees who have made this company more than a source of a paycheck, but a source of pride. I want to thank you, our customer, for your support, loyalty, patience, and for all the positive memories you have shared with us along the way.

    Shaz Kahng
    Long-time customer, Mom, and Gymboree Group CEO”

  43. Anonymous

    Has anyone had a chance to drop by any of their regular store or outlet locations since the big announcement? I am wondering if prices have dropped considerably since or if it is worth holding out for better deals?

  44. C

    It is pretty sad. My teens wore a lot of Gymboree and Crazy8 when they were little with some Land’s End, LL Bean, Mini Boden, and Carters thrown in. The writing has been on the wall for a while now, though. They tried to compete with stores that had lower price points, and quality really suffered as a result. Now people shop mostly online or at big box stores. Storefronts are costly to run, and if they are not making good profits it is a losing battle. It’s a sign of the times.

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