WASHINGTON (AP) - Children's clothing seller Gymboree Corp. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the latest sign of traditional retailers' struggles as shoppers shun stores and buy online.

The San Francisco-based company said it is seeking to reduce its debt load by $900 million, and it expects to operate its business and a majority of its 1,300 stores during the restructuring.

Gymboree is the latest retailer this year to file for Chapter 11, close stores or go out of business entirely. Mall-based clothing stores have been especially hard-hit.

The owner of brands including Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Bryant, Dress Barn and Justice has said it plans to close at least 250 stores. Ascena said about 400 more will be shut if the company doesn't get rent concessions.