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 they 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.
Long-time customer, Mom, and Gymboree Group CEO