Wednesday, May 22, 2024

rue21 files for bankruptcy for the third time, all stores to close

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rue21 has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is closing all of its over 500 stores.

Reuters reported that the teen fashion retailer plans to close all of its 543 U.S. stores within the next two months while conducting large “going out of business” sales, according to court documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. rue21 also plans to sell its intellectual property.

rue21 has not issued a press release or commented publicly on the bankruptcy as of Friday morning. The company’s website appears to be down.

rue21 has filed for bankruptcy twice before

This is not the first time the retailer based in Warrendale, Pennsylvania has filed for bankruptcy, previously filing in 2003 and 2017, when it closed 400 stores and cut about $700 million in debt. Reuters reported that rue21 currently has approximately 4,900 employees and $194.4 million in debt.

The company was founded in 1970 as Pennsylvania Fashions Inc. and operated under various brand names until it filed for bankruptcy in 2002. It exited bankruptcy in 2003 and was renamed to rue21.

rue21 tried to sell its business but could not find a buyer willing to pay more than it would earn by liquidating its inventory and shutting down stores, Reuters reported. It has hired the financial consultant Gordon Brothers to help with store closing sales.

Other retailers file for bankruptcy

rue21 is the latest retailer to file for bankruptcy and close stores. In April, longtime mall retailer Express filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is closing approximately 95 Express retail stores and all of the brand’s UpWest stores. The fabric and crafts store Joann filed for bankruptcy in March, although its stores are not expected to close, and the U.K.-based The Body Shop announced in March its U.S. subsidiary was no longer operational and will be closing all stores.

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