Gymboree has initiated a strategic review of its brands, which will include closing its 265 Crazy 8 locations and shuttering some of its 380 Gymboree stores in 2019. Additionally, the company has named Shaz Kahng as Gymboree Group CEO.
The plans could ultimately include a sale or other transactions at the brand level, but all Gymboree, Janie and Jack and Crazy 8 stores will remain open and operational through the holiday season. The retailer did not set a timetable for the process.
Gymboree emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2017, when it came under the shared ownership of lenders Searchlight, Apollo Global Management, OppenheimerFunds, Brigade Capital Management, Marblegate, Nomura Securities International and Tricadia Capital Management. The four-month process eliminated more than $900 million of debt and resulted in the liquidation of 330 underperforming stores.
The appointment of Kahng could tap his previous turnaround experience, which includes leadership roles at Lucy Activewear and various Nike business segments. She has been a member of the Gymboree Board of Directors since September 2017, and will continue spearheading efforts to revitalize the business in her new position.
“The process we announced today is designed to reposition the company for success by establishing a brand portfolio and store footprint that is optimized for the current retail environment,” said Kahng in a statement. “We are optimistic about our future as a more streamlined organization that can deliver enhanced, long-term value to its stakeholders. Our team remains focused on delivering the quality children’s clothing and accessories and exceptional service that our customers have come to expect from us.”
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