Rue21 files for bankruptcy

HARLINGEN — Struggling teen apparel retailer Rue21, which already had announced it would close its stores at Valle Vista Mall, Sunrise Mall in Brownsville and at the Rio Grande Premium Outlets in Mercedes, filed for bankruptcy late Monday.

In a statement, the Pennsylvania-based company said it has entered into agreements with certain of its lenders to reduce its debt and provide additional capital in support of its restructuring.

It is the second bankruptcy for the retailer, with a previous filing occurring in 2003.

Rue21 is the latest casualty in brick-and-mortar retailers’ race to the bottom, succumbing to competition from online sales and loss of market share.

Apparel retailers have been especially hard-hit, including Aeropostale, The Limited and Bebe, all of which went into bankruptcy.

JC Penney, Macy’s, Sears and Kmart have announced major store closures this year, along with chains like Payless, Crocs, BCBG, Abercrombie and Fitch and Guess.

The Harlingen location was Rue21’s 500th store and opened in 2009. Prior to its decision to close several hundred locations this year, Rue21 had over 1,000 stores.