|A rue21 store in liquidation mode|
Metro Atlanta largely spared in store closure announcement.
Teen apparel retailer rue21, based in the Pittsburgh suburb of Warrendale, Pennsylvania, announced plans earlier this afternoon to close nearly 400 of the chain's roughly 1,200 locations nationwide. In Georgia, the retailer plans to close 12 stores.
Established in 1976, the chain seemed to grow like kudzu in the late 2000s, swelling from 250 stores in 2009 to over 500 by January 2010, earning it the #9 spot on FORBES Magazine's "America's Best Small Companies" list that same year.
Rue21 opened their 1,000th store in late 2013. At the time, the retailer said it anticipated growing to more than 1,700 stores in the continental United States. "Our real estate model gives us the opportunity to open successfully in strip centers, regional malls and outlet centers in small or midsized communities where there are few teen specialty apparel retailers," stated Bob Thomson, Senior Vice President of Real Estate for rue21.
Earlier this month, Debtwire, a website that provides analysis and date on "distressed debt, leveraged finance and asset-backed markets," reported that rue21 was struggling to pay its bills and was restructuring.
Earlier this afternoon, the company posted a notice on its Facebook page confirming that it is trimming its store count.
“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, open for business!”
The 12 Georgia stores slated for closure are:
Mullins Crossing 4217 Washington Road (suite #4/5) -Evans
Savannah Mall 14045 Abercom Street (sp #2616) - Savannah
Milledgeville Mall 2400 North Columbia Street-Milledgeville
Rincon South Shopping Center 410 S. Columbia Avenue (suite 1) - Rincon
Columbus Park Crossing 5550 Whittlesey Boulevard (suite 580) - Columbus
Dublin Mall 2005 Veterans Boulevard (suite A20) - Dublin
Cordele Square 1007 East 16th Avenue (suite B) - Cordele
Victory Square 1915 E. Victory Square (suite K) - Savannah
Bartow Marketplace 289 Marketplace Boulevard-Cartersville
Lakeside Marketplace 3384 North Cobb Parkway (suite 170) - Acworth
North Point Mall 1000 North Point Circle (suite 1008) - Alpharetta
The Overlook 210 Line Creek Drive - Peachtree City
The Alpharetta and Peachtree City locations are among the company's newest, having opened in fall 2015 and 2016 respectively. The Peachtree City store, which opened this past October, seems to have been a pre-opening replacement for Dress Barn in the TJMaxx / HomeGoods anchored center.
The North Point Mall store opened in early September 2015 in a nearly 8,000 square foot first level space in the Sears wing.
Following this round of store closures, rue21 will still have plenty of Georgia locations including stores in Carrollton, Newnan, Douglasville, Athens and at the Tanger Outlets in Locust Grove and North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawsonville, among others.
Are you surprised that rue21 is closing so many stores? Are now or have you ever been a rue21 shopper? What would you like to see open in place of the various local rue21 stores slated for closure?
Please share your thoughts below.