Children’s clothing store to close in mall

July 13, 2017

Marcia Moore | The Daily Item


HUMMELS WHARF — Children’s clothing store Crazy 8 will close in the Susquehanna Valley Mall, while another shop, Gymboree, will remain open as the retailer battles its way out of bankruptcy.

The San Francisco-based Gymboree, which operates Crazy 8 and Janie and Jack retail stores, announced it is closing about 350 shops as part of its restructuring.

Most of the closures involve Gymboree and Crazy 8. The Crazy 8 store in Hummels Wharf is one of five in Pennsylvania expected to close within the next few months, said spokeswoman Leigh Parrish.

The closing sale will begin Tuesday, she said.

The loss of the children’s clothing store is the latest in a string of closures at the mall in the last few years, along with anchor stores J.C. Penney and Sears. Other stores that have been shuttered include Gap, Deb Store, Radio Shack and Hallmark.

The shopping center has two anchors, Boscov’s and Bon-Ton, and the latter store is struggling to avoid bankruptcy as its stock took a dive Wednesday, closing at about 32 cents a share.

Bon-Ton stores located in centers that have lost a Sears, a J.C. Penney or both have been hit hard by the shopping traffic reduction, but Burt P. Flickinger, managing director at Strategic Resource Group in New York City, isn’t counting out the retailer just yet.

“It’s doing a better job of offering online merchandise and exclusive products, and there are unprecedented opportunities,” he said.

In particular, Bon-Ton stores that have lost major co-anchors should be seeking steep rent reductions and, “if given enough time,” could remain viable, he said.

It’s not all dour news at the mall. Schuylkill Valley Sports is reopening today following a six-month closure. The sporting goods store is moving from the back side of the mall to space near center court, mall marketing director Sharon Leonard said.

All in Adventures, an escape room where visitors must solve clues and puzzles within a specific time frame, will open next month.

In an effort to attract more shoppers, Leonard said, the mall has created a more family-friendly atmosphere by installing small-sized tables and chairs for children where WiFi and a charging station are available and by creating a private “Mommy’s Room” for nursing mothers featuring a kids’ activity center.