Rue 21 closing stores in Hagerstown and Frederick

Teen clothing retailer Rue 21 is closing about one-third of its stores nationwide, including two in this area of Maryland.

Rue 21 will close stores at Hagerstown Premium Outlets near Hagerstown and at Francis Scott Key Mall in Frederick, according to the company’s website.

Several other area stores, including ones at the Valley Mall in Halfway, at Chambersburg Crossing in Pennsylvania and at the Apple Blossom Mall in Winchester, Va., will remain open, the website said.

Rue 21 previously had a store in the former Martinsburg Mall.

The retailer reported it is shuttering nearly 400 stores, leaving it with more than 700 stores in 48 states.

Rue 21, which is based in Cranberry, Pa., north of Pittsburgh, has 1,194 stores in the U.S. Of its 21 Maryland stores, nine will be closed, the website said.

Like many brick-and-mortar retailers, the company has been battling declining mall traffic amid strong competition online.

The company reported the action in a Facebook post, noting: "It’s true — we are closing some stores. It was a difficult but necessary decision. We still have hundreds of locations across the country, and our website rue21.com, open for business."

The company didn’t say how soon the stores will close, although its website is promoting store-closing sales.

Rue 21 also did not report how many employees will be affected.