What's In Store

Teen retailer to close 400 stores nationwide, including two in the Charlotte area

rue21 store front
rue21 store front The Rock Hill Herald

The teen clothing retailer rue21 said this weekend it is closing nearly 400 stores nationwide, including two in the Charlotte area.

The retailer will close its stores in the Rivergate Shopping Center in Charlotte’s Steele Creek area, and in the Wal-Mart Shopping Center in Albemarle, according to its website. Rue21 did not say when the stores will close, but it is promoting store-closing sales on its website.

The Cranberry, Penn.-based company said in a Facebook post that the decision to close the stores was “difficult but necessary.” Like many brick-and-mortar retailers, rue21 has been battling declining mall traffic amid strong competition online.

The closures represent about one-third of rue21’s nationwide footprint. After the stores close, the company will still have more than 700 stores in 48 states.

Rue21 is the latest in a growing list of national retailers to announce store closures in Charlotte as sales slow in brick-and-mortar stores, and accelerate online. Others include Macy’s, Hollister, J.C. Penney and Hhgregg.

Rue21 currently operates 15 stores in the Charlotte region, according to its website. The AP contributed.