A popular women’s apparel chain has declared bankruptcy, with two area stores slated to close.

Charlotte Russe, a mall-staple clothing store aimed at teens and young adults, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The store located in the Tanger Outlet Center in Howell Township is among the planned closures, along with the store located in the Meridian Mall in Okemos. The company announced it intends to use the proceedings to facilitate an orderly wind-down of approximately 94 of its store locations, while continuing to pursue a going-concern sale of the business and assets. A court filing says the company suffered a dramatic decrease in sales and in-store traffic. For now, the stores remain open and are continuing to serve customers. The company said it will provide more details about the plans for the closing locations and their store closing sales in the near term.

News of the Charlotte Russe store closures are just the latest of many in the retail industry and bricks-and-mortar stores that continue to struggle with online competition and big box stores. Other companies that have recently declared bankruptcy include Gymboree, Claire’s and David’s Bridal. (JM)