Rue21 announces new store openings
Jul 20, 2020
Warrendale, Pennsylvania-based fast fashion retailer Rue21 announced on Friday that it will open three new brick-and-mortar locations this month.
The teen apparel retailer plans to open the new stores in South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, bringing its store count to 673 in 45 states.
While many specialty clothing retailers are currently downsizing, Rue21 has experienced a business uptick since emerging from the Covid-19 shutdown, outperforming every metric including sales, comparative year-over-year sales and EBITDA.
"We fully expected all areas of commerce to take a hit, but to our surprise, our customers were anxious to purchase affordable, fashion-forward pieces that fit into their new way of life,” explained interim CEO, John Fleming.
“As a result, we beat out last year's comparables with a record June in terms of gross margin.”
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic in March, Rue21 shuttered its stores and furloughing most of its staff.
Fleming, who joined the retailer as interim CEO in February following the departure of Michael Appel, said the retailer turned its attention to promotions, store operations and management structures, focusing on speed to market and inventory velocity to successfully emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The retailer also doubled down on its customer loyalty strategy, launching 'Rue Rewards' online in April and across all stores on July 9.
Likewise, come the back-to-school season, Rue21 plans to prioritize the timely supply of trend-setting inventory, such as its fashion-print facemasks, and plus-size rue+ offerings, which continue to be a market differentiator.
"Unlike many retailers, we are in a better position today then we were before the global pandemic. We are energized to build off of this incredible momentum and provide our customers with a seamless, personalized and safe shopping experience," said Fleming.
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