Peachtree Mall in Columbus is losing another clothing retailer, this time through a bankruptcy restructuring.
San Francisco-based Gymboree Corp. said Wednesday it is closing its store at 3507 Manchester Expressway, with it one of about 350 outlets companywide that will be shutting its doors. Aside from Gymboree, the company’s Crazy 8 store brand is pulling the plug on locations.
Aside from the Peachtree Mall store in Columbus, there are six other properties in Georgia and six in Alabama that will begin liquidation sales on Tuesday, the company said.
Gymboree, founded in 1976, is a specialty retailer of children’s clothing. It operates the Gymboree, Gymboree Outlets, Janie and Jack, and Crazy 8 store brands. As of late April, not long before its June bankruptcy filing, the company had nearly 1,300 stores combined in the U.S. and Canada, with three in Puerto Rico.
Daniel Griesemer, Gymboree’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement that the closures are aimed at positioning the firm for “long-term growth and success.”
“Right-sizing our store footprint is a central part of our efforts to ensure Gymboree emerges from this restructuring process as a stronger and more competitive organization, with greater financial flexibility to invest in our future,” Griesemer said. “This was a difficult decision to make, but we are confident that it is in the best long-term interest of our company, our customers and our broader employee base.”
The Georgia stores are at Cumberland Mall in Atlanta, Georgia Square Mall in Athens, Town Center at Cobb in Kennesaw, Gwinnett Place in Duluth, Oglethorpe Mall in Savannah, and The Avenue Peachtree City (shopping center) in Peachtree City.
In Alabama, the shuttered stores are at Riverchase Galleria in Birmingham, University Mall in Tuscaloosa, Bridge Street Town Center in Huntsville, Eastern Shore Center in Spanish Fort and Wiregrass Commons Mall in Dothan. A Gymboree Outlet at the Shops of Grand River in Leeds, Ala., also is closing.
The coming closure of Gymboree at Peachtree Mall follows the loss earlier this year of women’s apparel retailers LOFT (formerly Ann Taylor Loft) and Sienna & Bellini. The shopping center has dodged restructuring bullets, however, with JCPenney and Macy’s department stores avoiding closure lists this year amid sharp cuts by their corporate offices.
JCPenney itself recently added appliance sales, shortly after the closings of Sears and hhgregg at Columbus Park Crossing. Both of those now-closed retailers relied heavily on sales of appliances and the traffic they generated at their stores. Sears Holdings also shuttered the Kmart stores on Macon Road in Columbus on U.S. Highway 280 in Phenix City. Its final local Kmart location on Airport Thruway also is preparing to shut its doors.