By Alton Mitchell
As 2017 has rolled in it has served as a year that has come with major changes in major chains operating retail locations. Several stores have downsized their physical locations and some have opted to close their operations altogether. On Sunday the latest retailer became a Pennsylvania based retailer that has operations in Opelika, luckily the Opelika location was spared in the latest cuts that did close several locations in Alabama.
Rue 21 is a Cranberry, Pennsylvania based clothing retailer that caters to teen fashions. The store operates one location in East Alabama in the Tiger Town Shopping Center in Opelika. On Sunday the retailer announced it would be close 400 locations out the chains total of 1194 locations nationwide. Several locations in Alabama were impacted by the closures list. The Opelika store was one of only 16 stores in Alabama to survive the cuts.
Rue 21 joins the ranks of stores such as Macy’s, JC Penny’s, Sears, Payless Shoes, HHGregg, and Radio Shack. All of these stores have announced multiple store closures and layoffs as retail sales have fallen due to increase in online sales. Rue 21 has said they will focus more on the online sales in order to eliminate debt of the chain.
In Alabama there are a total of fourteen stores that will close as part of the 400. The closing locations include those in Alabaster, Athens, Bessemer, Birmingham, Cullman, Fultondale, Huntsville, Irondale, Madison, Prattville, Saraland, Scottsboro, and two in Montgomery. The liquidation began at these locations on Sunday.
There is not date as to when the stores will close their doors for good. The initial liquidation at the stores starts at about 20% off on all remaining merchandise. The store in Lagrange, Ga will also remain open while the store in Columbus Park Crossing was one scheduled for closing.