CRANBERRY, Pa. (AP) - Teen clothing retailer rue21 is closing about one-third of its stores nationwide as it focuses more on its online business.

The privately held company is shuttering nearly 400 stores, leaving it more than 700 stores in 48 states.

The company is based in Cranberry, north of Pittsburgh. In a Facebook post , it called the decision to close the stores "difficult but necessary." Like many brick-and-mortar retailers, it has been battling declining mall traffic amid strong competition online.

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

The closures include five East Tennessee locations:

- Knoxville: North Fork Station Shopping Center (4231 Sam Walton Way)

- Alcoa: Hamilton Crossing (207 Hamilton Crossing Drive)

- Crossville: The Crossings Shopping Center (114 N. Maint St. Space 30) 

- Greeneville: Greeneville Commons (1327 Tusculum Blvd.) 

- Kingsport: Kingsport Town Center (2101 Fort Henry Dr. Suite 107)