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3 local stores impacted as Rue21 shuts down operations

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Last edited 1:06 p.m., May 3, 2024 [Editor's note: The closing stores are in Primrose Marketplace, Branson Landing and Tanger Outlets Branson. There is not a local store in Battlefield Mall.]

Three area Rue21 stores are closing as the clothing retailer winds down operations via bankruptcy proceedings.

The Warrendale, Pennsylvania-based company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday, according to court documents on file with Kroll Restructuring Administration LLC, which has been hired as part of the proceedings. The bankruptcy means the closure of around 540 stores.

Rue21 operates a store apiece locally in Primrose Marketplace, Branson Landing and Tanger Outlets Branson. The company's website lists 15 stores in Missouri.

Going-out-of-business sales are planned at the stores, which are expected to close in the next four to six weeks, according to court documents.

Michele Pascoe, interim CEO of Rue21, said in a bankruptcy document that the company's operations "have been negatively impacted by challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and related adverse market trends, including a shift in consumer shopping patterns from traditional brick-and-mortar retailers to online retailers and changing consumer preferences."

"More specifically, the Debtors have recently experienced operational losses resulting from, among other things, underperforming retail locations, increased industry competition and the uptick in online shopping, inflation and macroeconomic headwinds, and challenges raising capital," Pascoe said in the bankruptcy document.

Rue 21 has roughly 4,900 employees, of which 3,440 are part-time workers.

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