Gymboree files bankruptcy protection to reduce debt

- Children's clothing retailer Gymboree Corp. is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the latest sign of traditional retailers' struggles as shoppers shun stores and buy online.

The San Francisco-based company says it is seeking to reduce its debt by $900 million. It expects to operate its business and majority of its 1,300 stores during the restructuring.

Gymboree is the latest retailer to file Chapter 11, close stores or go out of business entirely in 2017. Shoe chain Payless ShoeSource filed for bankruptcy protection in April and The Limited closed all 250 of its remaining stores early this year. Teen retailer Wet Seal in January said it would close its 171 stores.

Gymboree says it secured $35 million in new financing to keep the company operating through the Chapter 11 process.

We've reached out to several Gymboree locations in the Bay Area, but they say they are still waiting for more on any specific store closures.

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