Plummeting mall traffic forces rue21 to close 400 stores

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The teen brand wants to focus on the online division of its business (KTRK)

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. 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.
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