National children’s retailer closing five Indiana stores

Children's clothing retailer Gymboree Corp. is closing 350 stores—including multiple shops in Indiana—as its works to restructure in bankruptcy.

The San Francisco-based company said Tuesday that it's mostly closing Gymboree and Crazy 8 stores. It also operates Janie and Jack stores.

The only Indianapolis-area store on its closure list is the Gymboree at Greenwood Park Mall.

Elsewhere in Indiana, Gymboree stores at College Mall in Bloomington, Southlake Mall in Merrillville and Eastland Mall in Evansville are slated to close.

Also set to close is a Crazy Eight store at College Mall in Bloomington.

The closing sales at affected stores are scheduled to begin next Tuesday.

The company will have more than 900 locations after the stores are shut down.

Three area Gymboree stores avoided the closure list—at the Fashion Mall at Keystone in Indianapolis, Clay Terrace in Carmel and Hamilton Town Center in Noblesville.

Also surviving are Crazy 8 stores at Castleton Square, Clay Terrace, Hamilton Town Center and Greenwood Park Mall.

The Janie and Jack chain, which has a store at the Fashion Mall and an outlet in Edinburgh, did not suffer any Indiana casualties.

Gymboree filed for bankruptcy protection in June. The retailer hasn’t posted an annual profit since 2011, with losses totaling more than $800 million.

The company carries a heavy debt load as the result of its $1.8 billion acquisition by Boston-based private-equity giant Bain Capital in 2010. It has about $1.4 billion in debt and is hoping to shed about $900 million of that amount in bankruptcy and through a new financing agreement.

Retailers have been hammered by a decline in mall shopping and the rise of online competitors like Inc.

Gymboree, which has most of its stores in malls, goes head-to-head with specialty chains such as Children’s Place Inc., as well as mass merchants like Target Corp.

The Gymboree Corp. got its start in 1976 with the founding of Gymboree Play & Music, which offers a variety of classes for children 5 and under. There are about 700 Gymboree Play & Music locations worldwide, including area locations in Carmel and Greenwood.

The company began opening clothing stores in 1986.

In 2016, the company agreed to sell its play-center business to a Singapore-based investment group for $127.5 million. That narrowed Gymboree’s focus to apparel.

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