Gymboree stores slated to start closing this week

SAN MATEO, Calif. (KGO) -- Big moves for Gymboree this week. The children's clothing mainstay is calling it quits.

Time is ticking down on Gymboree stores after the company filed for bankruptcy, catching customers by surprise.

RELATED: Gymboree closing hundreds of stores, including some Bay Area locations

"We are not happy to hear that," shopper Bryce Wegner, told me.

Wegner was with Estela Lauber. They shop at Gymboree quite a bit.

After walking out of the store they show us the purchases they just made and plan to send off to relatives back in New York.

They don't have a gift card, but they do have a coupon, which we suggest they should use sooner rather than later.

"We will go back in," they tell us, "We will go to lunch and then go back."

It really is kind of an emergency for those with coupons or gift cards.

Shelley Hunter is the Gift Card Girlfriend for, "What it means for consumers, obviously, if you are a fan of Gymboree you need to get in there and buy the merchandise you want, " she says, "If you have a gift card from Gymboree, however, you need to get in their urgently and use those gift cards."

There has been a lot of misinformation about those gift cards. Nothing has been decided yet.

"When a store files for chapter 11, bankruptcy courts decide whether or not gift cards can be honored." Shelley tells me, "So Gymboree will have to ask if it is allowed to accept gift cards and for how long."

The retailer has asked the court to allow the cards to be accepted for 30 days, but that doesn't mean the court will go along with that.

RELATED: Gymboree gift cards may only be good until February 15

The cards could be worthless tomorrow or still good six months from now.

Here is another complication-- at least some of the 147 affiliated Janie and Jack stores are expected to be sold and remain open. However, Janie and Jack gift cards are expected to expire along with the Gymboree cards.

It is asking a lot to expect consumers to keep track of all this, so just remember this: "use it or lose it".

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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