Crazy 8 Kids’ stores to shut down after holiday

HARLINGEN — The troubled times for children’s retailer Gymboree Group Inc. appears to mean the closure of two kids’ clothing stores in the Rio Grande Valley.

The company announced Gymboree’s Crazy 8 brand stores, known for children’s clothing from the ages of 3 to 14, would be eliminated as the company continues to wrestle with its bankruptcy filing in June 2017.

“The company is evaluating the retail footprints of its Crazy 8 and Gymboree brands with the intention of closing the company’s Crazy 8 store locations and significantly reducing the number of Gymboree store locations in 2019,” officials said in a statement this week.

Crazy 8 has two locations in the Valley, one at La Plaza Mall in McAllen and the other at Sunrise Mall in Brownsville.

The company said whatever decision is made on the closure of all Crazy 8 stores, they will be open and fully stocked for the Christmas shopping season.

“The process we announced today is designed to reposition the company for success by establishing a brand portfolio and store footprint that is optimized for the current retail environment,” said Shaz Kahng, Gymboree Group’s CEO. “We are optimistic about our future as a more streamlined organization that can deliver enhanced, long-term value to its stakeholders.”

Workers at both Valley locations said Thursday they have not been informed of any final decision about the Crazy 8 locations at the two malls and they are preparing for Christmas sales.

The San Francisco-based company signed a restructuring agreement with its lenders to reduce Gymboree’s debt load by more than $900 million last year. Most of that was the result of a leveraged buyout of the company by Bain Capital seven years ago at a cost of $1.8 billion.

In addition to the Gymboree and Crazy 8 brands, the company also owns Janie and Jack stores, which sell clothes for children 3 to 12 as well as baby clothes.

Gymboree has stores at La Plaza Mall and at Rio Grande Premium Outlets in Mercedes. A Janie and Jack store is located at La Plaza Mall.