Rue21 closing nearly 400 stores; 4 in W. MI

A courtesy photo of a sign outside a rue21 store. (rue21/Facebook)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD/AP) — Rue21 is closing nearly 400 stores, including several in West Michigan.

The teen clothing store said it was closing about one-third of its stores nationwide as it focuses more on its online business.

The company’s stores at Centerpointe Mall in Grand Rapids, Tanger Outlets in Byron Township, Riley Plaza in Holland and Maple Hill Pavilion in Kalamazoo are all slated to shut down, according to rue21’s website. The company said “rueBUCKS” would not be accepted at stores that are closing.

In a Facebook post, the Pennsylvania-based company called the decision to close the stores “difficult but necessary.” Like many brick-and-mortar retailers, Rue21 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.

More than 700 stores in 48 states will remain open, including sites at Green Ridge Square in Walker, RiverTown Crossings in Grandville, and The Lakes Mall in Muskegon.