Teen retailer rue21 to close 400 stores, including 4 in NJ

Teen clothing retailer rue21 is closing about one-third

Teen clothing retailer rue21 is closing about one-third of its stores nationwide as it focuses more on its online business. (Credit: rue21)

EDISON - 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. Among the stores closing are four New Jersey locations: Livingston Mall in Livingston, Hamilton Mall in Mays Landing, Jersey Shore Premium Outlets in Tinton Falls and Ocean County Mall in Toms River.

The company is based in Cranberry, north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 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.

CLICK HERE to view the full list of closures.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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