WASHINGTON (AP) — Children’s clothing seller Gymboree Corp. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the latest sign of traditional retailers’ struggles as shoppers shun stores and buy online.
The San Francisco-based company said it is seeking to reduce its debt load by $900 million. It expects to operate its business and majority of its 1,300 stores during the restructuring.
Gymboree is the latest retailer this year to file for Chapter 11, close stores or go out of business entirely. Shoe chain Payless ShoeSource filed for bankruptcy protection in April and The Limited closed all 250 of its remaining stores early this year. Teen retailer Wet Seal in January said it would close its 171 stores.
Gymboree says it secured a total of $308.5 million in financing to keep the company operating through the Chapter 11 process.
Some of its stores will be closed as part of the restructuring, but the timing of that and which shops will be closed have yet to be determined, the company said. It operates its namesake stores as well as Crazy 8 and Janie and Jack shops.
“We expect to move through this process quickly and emerge as a stronger organization that is better positioned in today’s evolving retail landscape,” CEO Daniel Griesemer said in a statement issued Sunday.
Gymboree was taken private in 2010 when it was bought by private equity firm Bain Capital for $1.8 billion.
The company also announced that its chief financial officer, Andrew North, is stepping down. Liyuan Woo, a director at consulting firm AlixPartners, was named interim CFO while a replacement for North is sought.