As a kid, I can remember shopping in department stores vividly. My parents would take me to Eastland Mall in Evansville every year around July to pick out new clothes for the upcoming school year. I always associated the experience with feelings of dread, because shopping was just not something this young man enjoyed. However, over the years, I came to realize how fortunate I was to have that opportunity, because many other kids my age didn't.

There is one national clothing store making headlines this week following a big announcement on Friday. Rue21, known for selling the latest trending fashions for teens, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to USA Today, this is the third time the chain has filed for bankruptcy. Rue21 filed for the first time in 2013 and the second time in 2017, when it closed around 400 stores nationwide. However, here in 2024, the company is closing all locations with plans to liquidate their assets.

According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the clothing chain was founded in 1976. It was formerly known as Pennsylvania Fashions, but was sold to Apax Partners in 2013. While it is not currently rated by the BBB, it does have a low review score of about one out of five, with the BBB citing over 30 complaints made within the last three years. USA Today reports the company has around 4,900 employees and just shy of $20 million in debt.

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Rue 21

Shoppers who tried logging on to the website last week may have been tipped off to the company's financial problems. Over the last several days, if you tried to shop on Rue21's website, you were probably met with the above error message. While it is unclear if this part of the website will be back open for the big "everything must go" sale, plans are already underway to begin slashing prices at all brick-and-mortar locales.

If you're looking to get yourself or your kids some new clothes, this would be a good opportunity. Rue21 has well over 500 stores nationwide, 17 of which are in Indiana. One of those can be found inside Evansville's Eastland Mall, located at 800 N. Green River Rd. Space 219A. While there are plenty of spots to get a great deal on clothes for a short time, it is a shame to see another chain closing. Perhaps, like Blockbuster, the legacy will at least live on via memes and pop culture references.

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