Rue21 Closing 400 Stores, Focusing On Online Sales

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Teen retailer Rue21, which has been the subject of recent bankruptcy rumors, has decided to shutter 400 stores and put more of its attention to online sales.

Rue21 announced over the weekend that it had made the “difficult but necessary decision” to close hundreds of stores.

While the retailer’s announcement didn’t provide an exact number of locations closing, the Associated Press later reported that 400 stores were affected.

The closures represent more than a third of the Pennsylvania-based chain’s 1,100 locations in malls, outlets, and strip centers across the U.S.

As for what stores are closing, Rue21 told customers on Facebook they could search for stores near them on the company’s “store locator” page. Those designated as closing will have a “closing store” label.

 

Although the company has provided a timeline for the closings, its website notes that certain discounts and “rueBUCKS” are no longer valid at shuttering locations.

A spokesperson for the company tells Consumerist that the company is closing unprofitable stores as part of its “ongoing business transformation into a more cost efficient operator.”  The exact number and location of stores slated to close will be announced in coming weeks, the rep said.

Trouble at Rue21 first became public earlier this month when rumors began swirling that the chain was preparing to file for bankruptcy.

At the time, the company said it was “working to improve its operations and enhance its liquidity position.”

With the closures, Rue21 joins the growing group of teen-focused retailers that have either filed for bankruptcy, decreased their footprint, or completely closed, including WetSeal, Aeropostale, Pacific Sun, and Quicksilver

If the company eventually files for bankruptcy it would join a long list of retailers doing so in recent months, including Gordmans, hhgregg, RadioShack, Gander Mountain, BCBG Max Azria, MC Sports, Eastern Outfitters, Wet Seal, Payless, and The Limited.