Returns deadline Feb. 1; gift cards Feb. 16

UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 1 is the last day to make Gymboree and Crazy 8 returns on merchandise purchased 60 days prior to Jan. 18. The last day to redeem gift cards is Saturday, Feb. 16, according to information posted on www.gymboreegrouprestructuring.com, the company’s restructuring website. 

If you have a Gymboree gift card, plan accordingly.

The plastic and digital gift cards for the children’s clothing retailer will soon be worthless.

In announcing it had filed for bankruptcy protection Jan. 17, Gymboree Group Inc. said it was asking the court for authorization to continue honoring gift cards for 30 days. 

The company would not say Thursday when the last day to redeem the cards would be if the request is approved. It could be as early as Feb. 15, which is 30 days after the bankruptcy filing.

Melissa Jacoby, a bankruptcy law professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said such requests are often granted. But she and other experts advise not waiting to use gift cards.

“I generally tell people if they have gift cards in their wallet, use them yesterday,” she said.

However, if you have GymBucks or Gymboree Rewards, you’re already out of luck. 

The San Francisco-based company’s two programs have been discontinued “effective immediately,” the company said in a statement.

Returns also are expected to be accepted for 30 days, but once liquidation begins, all sales will be final.

When Toys R Us liquidated last year, returns and gift cards were both accepted for 30 days.

Information on when Gymboree closing sales will start has not yet been announced. 

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Follow Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

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