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Rue 21 clothing chain to close two Tampa Bay locations, 16 in Florida

Rue 21, a nationwide teen fashion retailer, announced over the weekend that it will be shuttering hundreds of stores across the United States — including two in the Tampa Bay area.

According to the company's website, 16 stores in Florida are poised to close, including five on the west coast.

Locally, the Shoppes at Park Place in Pinellas Park and Ellenton Premium Outlets will close, as well a location at Westfield Sarasota Square.

"As part of our ongoing business transformation into a more cost efficient operator, we are closing unprofitable stores across our fleet in order to focus on our many hundreds of highly profitable locations," according to a company spokesperson. "The exact number and timing of these closings will be determined in the coming weeks."

The privately held company, based in Pennsylvania, is closing nearly 400 stores, leaving it more than 700 stores in 48 states — including 51 in Florida.

It hasn't been a great year for retailers. Large stores continue to close across Tampa Bay and retail jobs fell by 30,000 in March, more than any other industry sector, according to a U.S. jobs report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Contact Samantha Putterman at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @samputterman.

Rue 21 clothing chain to close two Tampa Bay locations, 16 in Florida 04/17/17 [Last modified: Monday, April 17, 2017 2:29pm]
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