Gymboree stores across North America are set to close after going into bankruptcy. Once again an American company saddled with debt from a ill conceived take-over struggles and fails and takes the Canadian wing down too. Many times the problem striking at the U.S. part of the company don’t affect that Canadian division but it doesn’t matter. Linens and Things was profitable in Canada but got shut down anyways. Other times the U.S. parent sacks the branch like Sears and Blockbuster did to extract cash from them.
Toys R Us was one of the few times the Canadian branch was able to split off from its closing parent. Whatever home for the 49 Canadian stores vanished with the bankruptcy and decision to shut down all stores continent-wide. In Winnipeg that means Gymboree at CF Polo Park and St. Vital Centre are destined for closing out sales.
CF Polo Park as well as St. Vital Centre have still not filled their Sears spaces. It is possible they are both holding out for a Nordstrom or Simons location. However, that might be a long wait as many retailers watch the markets carefully.
As far as Gymboree goes, the spaces are of a size that should see new tenants. And their children’s product lines are covered well by A Children’s Space or Gap stores. There is a Gymboree Play and TMusic store along Kenaston but it has been a separate company since 2016 and is unaffected.
In the aftermath of Christmas, expect a few more closures of stores. It would appear many malls might have to look at other attractions for their locations aside from retailers.
This has been a guest editorial by John Dobbin.
To read more from John, visit his blog Observations, Reservations, Conversations