Holding on to unused gift cards and GymBucks? Bankruptcy filings will likely determine how and when those can be redeemed. 

By Rebecca Macatee
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Courtesy of Gymboree

January 15, 2019

Gymboree Group could be declaring bankruptcy as soon as this week, according to reports by CNBC and the Wall Street Journal. According to a source familiar with the situation, this would likely mean the company will close roughly 900 stores it operates under the Gymboree, Janie and Jack, and Crazy 8 brands.

On Tuesday, Jan. 15, an employee at the strategic communications firm working with Gymboree Group told Parents.com the company hasn't made any announcements or comments about a potential filing or store closings. Their strategic review announcement from Dec. 4 noted their intention of closing the company's Crazy 8 locations and significantly reducing the number of Gymboree store locations.

The children's clothing retailer previously filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and closed about 375 stores, according to CNBC. In the wake of this filing, Gymboree stores and clothes got a trendy makeover in July 2018, but if the latest round of reports turns out to be true, the stylistic shift didn't necessarily boost sales and profits like the company was hoping it would.

If the bankruptcy reports are true, what about all those Gymboree rewards points we've racked up and the leftover balance on our gift cards? Well, as of this moment, Gymboree Group has not yet filed for bankruptcy, so any points or gift cards you have will work online and at any U.S. retail or outlet stores. But if the retailer does file for bankruptcy, you'll want to spend any remaining balances you have sooner rather than later.

According to the Better Business Bureau, bankruptcy filings will likely determine if and how any unused gift cards can be redeemed once a company goes out of business. Some retailers will honor promotions and gift cards for a set amount of time. Once that deadline has passed, other retailers may offer trade-in discounts or incentives for any unused balances, but there's no guarantee of this happening when a company goes out of business.

Our recommendation? Spend those GymBucks and gift cards now while you know you still can. And if everyone does the same, maybe Gymboree Group won't end up going the way of Babies "R" Us.

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