Saturday, April 15, 2017

Reeling Retailer Rue21 Restructuring, Nearly 400 Stores Closing

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, 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.  


Anonymous said...

Surprised the location in Snellville Pavilion beside HHGregg is not listed. Was never part of their customer demographic but honestly never heard of anyone in their target market that did shop at their stores. The seismic bust in brick and mortar retailing is not all due to internet commerce.

Anonymous said...

Right. I don't see Internet sales causing the decline of retail sales. How about raise wages so people can actually shop stores

Anonymous said...

uh, you do know that raising wages across the board will just result in higher prices at the stores, right?

Anonymous said...

Raise wages? If YOU need higher wages then EARN them. Maybe then you could afford to shop. You probably have never shopped at rue21 but just came here to complain.

Coolio said...

I agree with Anon @ 9:38 Am on 4/18/17. People always say that wages need to rise, and love to spend other people's money. But when it's THEIR money that they need to spend, or if THEY have to decide between paying people more money or closing stores to keep THEMSELVES afloat, I bet they will choose the latter.

Put yourself in the position to MAKE the decisions, and you won't become a victim of one.

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