Chesapeake Mall clothing store closes

Published 10:52 pm Friday, July 14, 2017

Another retail outlet announced this week it will close its doors at Chesapeake Square Mall.

The Gymboree Corporation announced on Tuesday that approximately 350 of their Gymboree and Crazy 8 stores will close, including the Gymboree store at Chesapeake Square Mall. This was confirmed by specialty leasing and marketing manager Cathy Kurchinski with Jones Lang LaSalle, property manager for Chesapeake Square.

The children’s clothing retailer filed for bankruptcy protection in June, with the store closings as part of restructuring intended to move resources to other locations and improve overall profitability, according to the press release.

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The corporation will still have more than 900 active locations after the closings.

“This was a difficult decision to make, but we are confident that it is in the best long-term interest of our company, our customers and our broader employee base,” according to the press release.

Some shoppers on Facebook expressed their disappointment at losing the Chesapeake Square store.

“It was the only store that made me go to the mall,” Facebook user Fadia Caudell said in a response to a Suffolk News-Herald reporter’s question on the Western Branch Coming Together Facebook page.

“I’ve been shopping at Gymboree for over 15 years and it’s predominately the only clothing my 5-year-old wears,” said Facebook user Amy Elliot-Klutz. “It’s heartbreaking because that is the only reason we visited our mall.”

The Family Christian Store chain announced in February the closure of 240 store locations nationwide, including Chesapeake Square. Macy’s closed its Chesapeake Square location in 2016, as did Sears in 2015.

“I haven’t shopped at Gymboree in years but for me, the demise of the mall was when Macy’s and Sears left,” said Facebook user Jennifer McCormick. “It’s been straight downhill since.”

Some did not blame the mall for the nationwide closings and expressed hope for a turnaround.

“Since all of the Gymboree stores are closing, we can’t say it was Chesapeake’s fault,” said Facebook user Alice Fticsar. “I will miss that shopping opportunity and hope something as good or better will move in.”