Gymboree latest casualty of online retail

The Gymboree store at Rogue Valley Mall is among 350 locations the children's clothing retailer plans to shutter this year.

The San Francisco-based chain filed for Chapter 11 court protection in June and is downsizing operations as part of its restructuring efforts.

The Medford store is one of three Oregon stores the retailer said it will shutter. The company said Tuesday it will begin closing sales this week.

Gymboree, one of the mall's longest-tenured retailers, opened its shop on the second level of the mall in 1998. Like other retail chains, the pressure from online competition took its toll.

"All the brick-and-mortar stores are struggling and will continue to unless they do something unique," said Joan McBee, who heads the Southern Oregon University Business School. "Brick-and-mortar retailers are going to have to be creative in order stay in business and compete against online retailers. They're going to have to be entertaining in order to draw people into the store. Once you draw them into the store, they will likely buy."

San Diego-based Brixton Capital, which acquired the mall a year ago, will have to wait on the court's determination concerning the retailer's lease agreements.

"Whenever a business goes into bankruptcy, any creditor — whether landlord, vendor or supplier — has to file paperwork showing the courts what is owed to them," said Rogue Valley Mall General Manager Jeff Barber. "Once the assets are examined, they have to accept or reject the lease, and the timing is different each time."

Gymboree said it is putting resources toward locations with the greatest potential to improve the profitability of the overall business.

CEO Daniel Griesemer said in a statement that the closures are a step in positioning the business 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," Griesemer said.

— Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or Follow him on Twitter at, on Facebook at



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