Teen retailer Rue21 closing its money-losing stores

(USA TODAY) -- Teen fashion retailer Rue21 is the latest chain to say that it is shuttering some of its stores.

The company said in a statement that "as part of our ongoing business transformation into a more cost efficient operator, we are closing unprofitable stores across our fleet in order to focus on our many hundreds of highly profitable locations. The exact number and timing of these closings will be determined in the coming weeks.”

Rue21, with storefronts in strip malls and shopping centers across the U.S., is likely suffering from the declining foot traffic that is hobbling so many retailers as shoppers increasingly do their buying online. The store chain is also vying with fast fashion giants like Zara and H&M, who cater to the same trend-focused youthful shopper, though rue21 stands out with its offerings of plus-sized clothing.

Rue21 tweeted the news to its followers on Sunday. "It’s true – we are closing some stores,'' the retailer wrote. "It was a difficult but necessary decision. We still have hundreds of locations across the country, and our website rue21.com, open for business.''

Several chains, from teen--focused Wet Seal, to department store giant Macy's to retail icon Sears, have announced that they are closing stores, filing for bankruptcy or laying off employees as they struggle to keep up with a dramatically transforming retail environment.

The Limited has closed all of its stores and filed for bankruptcy protection.  American Apparel, which filed for bankruptcy protection late last year, has said it will lay off roughly 2,400 employees. Macy's has said that it will close 68 stores, while Sears plans to shutter 150.

Rue21 has 1,218 locations in 48 states. To see what locations are slated to close, go to  rue21.com

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