Amazon has changed consumer expectations for shipping and service, and that has been one of the reasons retailers are going through dramatic transformations trying to keep up.
It makes the beginning of Amazon Prime Day strange timing for recently bankrupt Gymboree to choose for its brand refresh, but that’s exactly what the children’s retailer is doing.
“It’s really an all-new Gymboree, different in almost every single way,” Gymboree Group Chief Executive Daniel Griesemer told CNBC, speaking about the 32-year-old retailer. “The product is completely re-engineered, redesigned. [there’s] elevated quality, elevated aesthetic, the new mix-and-match capability, that hasn’t been part of the offering to date.”
Gymboree Group is the parent company of kids clothing brands Gymboree, Janie and Jack, and Crazy 8. It filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on June 11, 2017, and officially re-emerged on Sept. 29, 2017.
Monday, Gymboree is announcing its refreshed personality, product and digital presence. The retailer relaunched its websites and is debuting a new app this week with augmented reality features. In taking these steps, Gymboree hopes its makeover will fix some of the reasons it struggled: growing online competition, a debt-laden balance sheet and a need to woo shoppers with better value.
A quarter of Gymboree’s sales come from its websites, and the retailer is offering as much as 80 percent off on its three brands’ sites, coinciding with Amazon Prime Day.
But the executive insists stores are still important to shoppers. In focus groups, shoppers explained that while they do a lot of shopping online, “they prefer to shop in stores, because they want to touch and feel and look at quality and sizing,” he said. That's why Gymboree is making certain to refresh its stores along with its e-commerce experience.
Gymboree Group closed more than 360 stores during its restructuring, leaving about 940 stores total for three brands in the U.S. and Canada.