The Children's Place on Tuesday announced it will relaunch the Gymboree brand in early 2020. The relaunch will include an "enhanced" website, Gymboree.com, as well as shop-in-shops in more than 200 of The Children's Place stores.
The website will feature a shared online basket to "streamline checkout processes and shipping," the company said in a press release. The company is also offering free shipping and returns with no minimum order amount.
The retailer also announced a new loyalty program to coincide with the relaunch. The program will include special birthday offers and access to events, among other things.
After filing for bankruptcy protection for the second time earlier this year, and subsequently closing all of its Gymboree and Crazy 8 stores, the brand is making a comeback.
When the retailer filed for Chapter 11 in January, it cited The Children's Place by name as a competitive force that ultimately led to its demise. And now that same company will be leading Gymboree's relaunch.
The Children's Place in March acquired the rights associated with the Gymboree and Crazy 8 brands for $76 million, at the same time Gap Inc. — another retailer taking market share away from Gymboree — acquired the rights to the higher-end Janie and Jack brand for $35 million.
The "new" Gymboree appears to be more digitally focused this time around, with a new online experience, loyalty program and mobile app.
"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," Claudia Lima-Guinehut, The Children's Place senior vice president of global merchandising, said in a statement. "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."
Aside from Gap and The Children's Place, the bankrupt retailer cited growing pressure from Macy's, Carters and T.J. Maxx. And the space is continuing to get more saturated with everyone from mass merchants like Target and its Cat & Jack private label, to rental service Rent the Runway, which in April announced it would expand its assortment to include kids.
Foot Locker this year also signaled value in the space with its $12 million investment into kids apparel startup Rockets of Awesome. And for good reason. The global children's apparel market is projected to reach $339.1 billion by 2024.