If you are a fan of Gymboree, you were probably very upset to learn the company had filed for bankruptcy protection back in January and announced they would be closing 800 stores. The company had seen disappointing sales leading to its second bankruptcy filing in 2 years. But now thanks to rival children's stores The Children's Place and The Gap, the company's brands will live on.
According to CNN, court documents filed over the weekend show The Children's Place has bid to acquire the Gymboree brand for $76 million, along with the Crazy 8 brand and will be taking over the contract for Gymboree Play & Music that was sold off in 2016.
Gap Inc. will acquire the high-end brand Janie and Jack for $35 million which will also include the leases of the physical stores; it's online business, customer data, and other assets. While both of these purchases still need to be approved by bankruptcy court, they are being viewed as a positive. "We are excited about the potential opportunity to acquire Janie and Jack – a leader in children’s specialty retail," Gap Inc. said in a statement sent to USA TODAY. "We believe this transaction will provide Gap Inc. with the opportunity to expand our customer base in a desirable category with a loyal brand following."
While it may seem that sales are declining, children's clothing sales are actually up by 4% from last year, CNN reports. Parents are often turning to online shopping and one-stop shops like Target where they can grab household items, groceries and affordable outfits for the whole family instead of stand-alone brick and mortar children's stores.
Earlier this week Gap Inc. announced it would be closing approximately 230 stores and will split from sister brand Old Navy. “Following a comprehensive review by the Gap Inc. board of directors, it’s clear that Old Navy’s business model and customers have increasingly diverged from our specialty brands over time, and each company now requires a different strategy to thrive moving forward,” Robert Fisher, Gap Inc.’s Board Chairman said in a statement. “Recognizing that, we determined that pursuing a separation is the most compelling path forward for our brands.''
The Children's Place has mentioned its focus going forward is going to be on millennial moms, as well as building their brand internationally and their online presence, noting that almost 23% of their sales are done online. The store has yet to officially comment on their plans for the Gymboree brand, but many are hoping this means the store will get a new chance, or at least their products will.