Rue21 to open 15 new stores this year
Warrendale, Pennsylvania-based retailer Rue21 is set to expand its retail network starting with the opening of five new stores ahead of fall.
Next, it plans to open a total of 15 new stores through the end of the year at strategically selected locations based on its data-driven model. Locations span from The Avenues Mall in Jacksonville, Florida to Wolfchase Galleria, in Memphis, Tennessee, and Walden Galleria, in Buffalo, New York, and many other states.
"Recent new store openings have demonstrated the importance of our store channel to brand discovery and customer acquisition," said Rue21's CEO Bill Brand. "Our dynamic in-store experiences have driven customer loyalty and is our model for continued omnichannel growth.”
The expansion comes as even amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Gen Z customer-favourite brand, experienced double-digit growth, enabling aggressive investment in both its physical and digital properties.
In fact, Rue21 opened three new stores last year that outperformed expectations by more than 50 percent. The retailer attributes the stores' success to its data-driven site selection process, which hones in on customer profiles and assures that the real estate selection is in line with customer demographics.
"Rue21's marriage of data and customer recognition provides the perfect formula for a winning location. The success of the new stores in 2020 fueled investment in the 15 new stores this year," said Michele Pascoe, Rue21's CFO, who also oversees the brand's real estate strategy. "As we continue to grow the fleet, we can't wait to welcome more loyal customers to the brand.”
In December, Rue21 refinanced its existing term loan, increased its available liquidity and lowered its cost of capital to allow it to accelerate strategic growth initiatives, including omni-channel enhancements to create more engaging customer experiences.
Meanwhile, the brand’s loyalty program, Rue Rewards, focused on converting new, in-store customers to omnichannel customers, launched last year and has already collected 5.5 million active members.
The retailer currently operates over 652 stores in 45 states and online at Rue21.com.
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