Teen apparel retailer rue21 announced last week that it’s closing 400 of its 1,200 stores around the country. On Saturday afternoon, the company posted a note on its Facebook page confirming that it’s trimming its brick-and-mortar locations. “It’s true — we are closing some stores,” the post said. “It was a difficult but necessary decision. But the good news is we still have hundreds of locations across the country, and our website, rue21.com, is open for business!” rue21 also identified the impacted locations.
Total Retail’s Take: Unfortunately, rue21’s store closings weren’t surprising to retail analysts.The chain, which for years was able to grow by putting stores in smaller markets often underserved by major competitors, reported earlier this month to be struggling to pay its bills and preparing for bankruptcy. The company hasn’t released financial results since going private in 2013. Last fall, rue21 replaced its longtime CEO and promoted its chief financial officer to fill the role on an interim basis. Many retailers, including rue21, have been hurt by a shift in sales from traditional stores to online shopping, among other changes in customer spending habits.