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Major retailer announces bankruptcy, closure of all stores: Waterloo outlet among closing

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  • Staff Report 

The changing landscape of American malls sees another retailer falling victim as Rue21 announces the closure of all its 540 stores following a bankruptcy filing. The teen apparel chain, once boasting 1,200 locations, is shutting down operations nationwide, marking its third and final bankruptcy after previous financial recoveries in 2017 and 2003.


Rue21’s CEO Michele Pascoe attributed the company’s struggles to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which exacerbated shifts in consumer shopping habits from physical stores to online platforms. Increased competition, underperforming locations, and economic challenges including inflation also played significant roles in the company’s downturn.

Stores across 45 states will initiate “going out of business” sales and are expected to close permanently within the next four to six weeks. The chain has several locations across the Finger Lakes and Central New York including stores in Waterloo, Rochester, and Syracuse.