Children’s clothing retailer Gymboree has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under the weight of more than $1.4 billon of debt.
The San Francisco-based company said it would close 375 to 450 of its nearly 1,300 stores as it expects to reduce debt by $1 billion.
Gymboree has a location in The Mall at Barnes Crossing in Tupelo. So far, the mall has survived announced store closures this year by Sears, J.C. Penney and Payless.
We’ll see if this Gymboree store can hang on as well.
In Mississippi, Gymboree also has a store in Hattiesburg and outlet stores in Gulfport and Pearl.
Gymboree also announced Monday the departure of Chief Financial Officer Andrew North, who is leaving for personal reasons. Its previous CEO, Mark Breitbard, stepped down in January.
Current CEO Daniel Griesemer said in a statement, “The steps we are taking today allow the company to definitively address its debt and enable the management team to turn its full focus toward executing our key strategies, including our Product, Brand and Omni-channel initiatives. We expect to move through this process quickly and emerge as a stronger organization that is better positioned in today’s evolving retail landscape.”
James Mesterharm, Gymboree’s chief restructuring officer, said in a court filing that the retailer was hurt by lower-cost competition from rivals Children’s Place Gap, both of which have less debt financing.
Gymboree said it also has secured commitments for up to $308.5 million in additional financing.