January 21, 2019

CT alerts on bankrupt retailers

Two of Connecticut's state consumer watchdogs are urging holders to redeem as soon as possible any unused gift cards or store credits issued from several bankrupt retailers.

State Attorney General William Tong and state Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull on Friday issued their alert to customers of Gymboree, Crazy 8 and Janie and Jack stores.

The Gymboree Group, the San Francisco owner of all three retail chains, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization petitions, allowing it to remain in operation while it works on a plan to repay creditors.

However, Gymboree said recently it plans to liquidate and close its nine Gymboree and three Crazy 8 stores in Connecticut. The parent said it also is trying to sell its Janie and Jack outlets, one of which is in West Hartford's Blue Back Square.

Officials said Gymboree Play and Music educational and developmental play locations are not owned by The Gymboree Group and are not affected by its bankruptcy.

Seagull noted that while gift cards do not expire in Connecticut, store-closings and other circumstances can stifle customers' attempts to redeem them.

"As a general rule, it's always a good idea to use gift cards as soon as you can," Tong said in a statement. "While they may not expire, situations like bankruptcy and abrupt store closings do happen, and there aren't always a lot of options for consumers who have unused gift cards. In this case, consumers do have time to use those gift cards and because the clock is ticking on these store closings, they should do so as soon as they can."

For more information, contact the attorney general's Consumer Assistance Unit at 860-808-5240, or the state Department of Consumer Protection at 860-713-6100.

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