Bankrupt Gymboree to close all stores, including at Lighthouse Place

Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets in Michigan City. The Gymboree will close there after the children's clothing chain went bankrupt.

Children's clothing retailer Gymboree plans to shutter all its 900 stores, including in Michigan City and Orland Park.

San Francisco-based Gymboree, which closed its Southlake Mall store in Hobart in 2017, filed for bankruptcy and is going out of business after 43 years. It is looking to wind down all its Gymboree and Crazy 8 stores, including in the Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets in downtown Michigan City and in Orland Square in Orland Park.

The chain, often located in malls, sold apparel for children ranging from newborn to age 12.

Gymboree Play & Music, which offers developmental play, music and art classes for parents and children up to 5, will remain open. The company wants to sell its Jane and Jack stores and the intellectual property for Gymboree so it can carry on under new ownership as an online brand.

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Special Situations Investing Group, a Goldman Sachs affiliate, will serve as the stalking-horse bidder in a court-supervised bankruptcy auction.

"The company has worked diligently in recent months to explore options for Gymboree Group and its brands, and we are saddened and highly disappointed that we must move ahead with a wind-down of the Gymboree and Crazy 8 businesses," Gymboree Group CEO Shaz Kahng said. "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.

"As we move ahead, we are working to minimize the impact on our employees, customers, vendors and other stakeholders."

Going-out-of-business liquidation sales are planned at all the stores.


Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.