NEW YORK — Women in Massachusetts who shop the off-price apparel chains soon will have fewer options.

Burlington Coat Factory is getting ready to shutter its seven-unit Decelle chain. What began as a small factory selling apparel for women and children eventually turned into a small retail chain offering irregulars and closeout merchandise. The founder, William J. Frawley Jr., died in April at the age of 81. He retired from the business after selling the chain to Burlington Coat in 1994.

Burlington Coat did not return calls for comment. Workers at stores contacted by WWD said they were told in April that the stores would start going-out-of-business sales next month.

Also closing is Frugal Fannie’s, a four-unit women’s off-pricer in Massachusetts. Its other stores in Virginia and Washington, D.C., closed last year.

Competition from larger discounters like Marshalls and T.J. Maxx, as well as the shift in fashion trends for working women, have hurt the off-price sector in Massachusetts, according to observers in the factoring community.

The last several years have been tough on the overall retail scene in the region, evidenced by the closures of discounters Bradlees, Caldor and Ames and the women’s chain Cherry & Webb.

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