Pennsylvania-based teen retailer Rue 21 closing 400 stores, Area Stores Affected

CRANBERRY, Pa. (AP) — Teen clothing retailer rue21 is closing about one-third of its stores nationwide as it focuses more on its online business. The privately held company is shuttering nearly 400 stores, leaving it more than 700 stores in 48 states. Stores in Mt. Vernon’s Time Square Mall, Centralia’s Fairview Park Plaza, and Effingham’s Oak Point Centre will be part of the closures. Carbondale’s University Park Mall and Fairview Heights’ St. Clair Square locations are not affected by the closures. The company is based in Cranberry, north of Pittsburgh. In a Facebook post , it called the decision to close the stores “difficult but necessary.” Like many brick-and-mortar retailers, it has been battling declining mall traffic amid strong competition online. The company didn’t say how soon the stores will close, though its website is promoting store-closing sales.