Gymboree owner gives in to 'unrivaled passion' with online comeback

Gymboree is making a comeback, with the help of a former rival.

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The Children’s Place, the largest children’s specialty apparel retailer in North America, is planning on relaunching Gymboree online in early 2020 with an “enhanced website” and shop-in-shop locations in more than 200 Children’s Place stores.

“We have embarked upon an exciting journey to bring this iconic brand back to the loyal Gymboree customers, who continue to voice an unrivaled passion and affinity for it," said Jane Elfers, president and CEO of The Children's Place.

According to court documents, The Childrens Place acquired the rights to both Crazy 8 and Gymboree itself for $76 million in March.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
PLCECHILDREN'S PLACE54.11-4.72-8.02%

The upgraded website will include access to all Gymboree collections, in sizes 12M – 8T; a shared online basket to streamline checkout and shipping and a new loyalty program. A mobile app will be introduced as well.

The loyalty program will reward customers for every purchase, and members will receive special offers on their children's birthdays, exclusive access to bonus events and opportunities to earn extra points, the company said.

In-store merchandise will be added when the new site goes on line, the company said.Gymboree's bankruptcy filing, in January, was the second in less than two years.

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“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,” CEO Shaz Kahng said in a statement at the time that outlined plans to close roughly 900 locations, including Gymboree stores as well as Crazy 8 shops.

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The Children's Place ended the first three months of 2019 with 971 stores, a decrease of 3.2 percent from a year ago. Since 2013, the company has closed 213 stores, according to company data.