Gymboree to get a new start as part of The Children’s Place

Discussion
Photo: Wikipedia/InaHuang
Oct 17, 2019
George Anderson

Gymboree was an 800-store retail chain before it filed for bankruptcy and shuttered all its locations earlier this year. Now, the brand is ready for a comeback as part of The Children’s Place, not as a standalone chain, but as an online seller and a shop within its one-time rival’s stores.

The Children’s Place announced on Tuesday that it plans to relaunch Gymboree.com early next year and open Gymboree shop-in-shops in over 200 of its 916 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

“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, in a statement. “We are thrilled to be able to revitalize bow-to-toe collections that create magical childhood moments. We are making every effort to meet her high standards for curated and elevated product and eagerly anticipate welcoming her back to the Gymboree brand.”

The Children’s Place has said that it is relaunching Gymboree.com to provide an “enhanced, personalized, online shopping experience” that includes free shipping and returns on all purchases with no minimum. Another element is a new loyalty program that provides special offers on kids’ birthdays, access to exclusive events and opportunities to earn bonus points.

The Children’s Place will open the brand’s shops in select stores at the same time it is relaunching Gymboree.com.

“We believe a multichannel offering combining an enhanced online shopping experience with inviting in-store locations will best serve long-standing Gymboree customers, and also welcome a new generation of moms to the iconic brand,” said Claudia Lima-Guinehut, senior vice president, global merchandising, The Children’s Place. “The goal is to provide a Gymboree brand experience that reconnects mom to the branded product that she loves, and also provides her with enhanced capabilities she’s come to expect from best-in-class, omni-channel retailers.” 

To promote the return of Gymboree, The Children’s Place is running a promotional sweepstakes beginning this month and extending through mid-January that will ask lovers of the brand to explain what makes it special to them. Winners will receive the entire Gymboree Spring 2020 collection. The retailer will also give away $2,500 in Gymboree gift cards per week. Details and sign ups are available on Gymboree.com. 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of The Children’s Place’s strategy to relaunch Gymboree? Do you see a future in which Gymboree will operate standalone stores again?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"This makes sense – take what worked from Gymboree and capitalize on that, without the baggage that caused them to liquidate."
"I think this strategy has legs. Gymboree still has brand value, notwithstanding its historical challenges."
"What’s in a name? Quite a lot apparently! Similar to the Toys “R” Us and FAO Schwarz reboots, Gymboree is back. Name and brand recognition matter..."

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6 Comments on "Gymboree to get a new start as part of The Children’s Place"


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Mark Ryski
BrainTrust

I think this strategy has legs. Gymboree still has brand value, notwithstanding its historical challenges. Re-launching online is a start, but it’s clear that having a physical presence is key, so piggybacking on The Children’s’ Place locations is a way to have their cake and eat it too. It’s hard to say if Gymboree will ultimately operate their own physical stores, but with this current strategy that possibility will certainly exist in the future.

Casey Golden
BrainTrust
26 days 21 hours ago

Agree, this is a strategy that makes sense!

Stephen Rector
BrainTrust

This makes sense – take what worked from Gymboree and capitalize on that, without the baggage that caused them to liquidate. Whether or not that means new standalone stores – I’m not sure if that is even necessary considering the current store count of The Children’s Place – they should focus on online and in-store and take learnings from the results.

Brandon Rael
BrainTrust

What’s in a name? Quite a lot apparently! Similar to the Toys “R” Us and FAO Schwarz reboots, Gymboree is back. Name and brand recognition matter, and this Gymboree online renaissance and store-within-a-store concept at The Children’s Place is a start to see if the experiment has legs. This is an excellent risk and cost mitigation approach to see how successful this could be, and eventually this could evolve into independent physical locations.

It will take plenty of trial and error and a very pragmatic strategy to avoid the pitfalls that led to the bankruptcy and liquidation.

Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

Although Gymboree struggled with its finances, the brand remained fairly popular with consumers and offered fairly good products. I think there is still some value in the brand and The Children’s Place should be able to capitalize on that.

Ricardo Belmar
BrainTrust

Like other recent brand “reboots” (Toys “R” Us, and FAO Schwarz come to mind), Gymboree still has positive brand value and it makes sense for The Children’s Place to capitalize on that using their existing stores plus online. This isn’t so much about revitalizing the Gymboree brand as it is increasing traffic to The Children’s Place stores so it’s a logical approach. I would not expect to see Gymboree stand-alone stores any time soon as that would dilute the benefit to existing Children’s Place stores.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"This makes sense – take what worked from Gymboree and capitalize on that, without the baggage that caused them to liquidate."
"I think this strategy has legs. Gymboree still has brand value, notwithstanding its historical challenges."
"What’s in a name? Quite a lot apparently! Similar to the Toys “R” Us and FAO Schwarz reboots, Gymboree is back. Name and brand recognition matter..."

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