Pennsylvania-based teen retailer rue21 closing 400 stores, 5 in SE Wisconsin

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CRANBERRY, Pa. — 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 more than 700 stores in 48 states. Five of those stores are in the Milwaukee metro area. They include the stores in the following communities:

  • Germantown
  • Lake Geneva
  • Midtown Center in Milwaukee
  • Waukesha
  • West Bend

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.