Soft sales push rue21 to take markdowns and clear inventory

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Offering more evidence that the back-to-school clothing season could be challenging, Cranberry teen clothing retailer rue21 this morning told investors it has had to take markdowns to clear out inventory.

The company, in the process of being sold to a private equity investor, said sales at stores open at least a year were down almost 6 percent in the second quarter compared to last year.

Total sales of $229.3 million are up from last year's $202 million, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Slow sales in categories such as girls' and guys' tops, the rue21 filing said, added to inventory left from the first quarter as a result of a soft economic environment and cold weather.

Markdowns were 22 percent higher than the average over the past three years.

Earlier this week, South Side teen clothing chain American Eagle Outfitters warned that its second quarter earnings would be hurt by sales challenges, including higher-than-planned markdowns.

On Tuesday, its shares dropped 12 percent.

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Teresa F. Lindeman: tlindeman@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2018.


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