News Feature | November 8, 2013

rue21 Launches Long-Anticipated E-Commerce Presence

By Sam Lewis, associate editor
Follow Me On Twitter @TheSJLewis

Rue21 Storefront

Online shopping is the first step in omni-channel retailing for the Millennial-shopper-focused retailer

Pittsburgh-based apparel retailer rue21 has broadened the way its customers can connect with and buy from the company. On Friday, Nov 8 the company announced the much anticipated launch of its e-commerce presence, bringing consumers the ability to shop online to rue21.com.

rue21’s key demographic, Millenials, is a new type of shopper that rarely demonstrates brand loyalty. They have abandoned retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, and Aeropostale, instead seeking trendy fashions accompanied by low prices. In addition, Millenials are very tech savvy, leaning on technology in almost all aspects of their lives, including shopping. The launch of rue21’s e-commerce presence allows it to capitalize on all of these things. "The launch of our new e-Commerce site marks a new chapter for our company and will be key to building our brand for the future," says the company’s president and CEO Bob Fisch.

“It's no secret that the business landscape is changing,” states Mark Chrystal, SVP of e-Commerce, Planning, and Allocation. For rue21 to fully receive the benefits of the new business market, it will need to completely open all channels to its shoppers. rue21 plans to expand the e-commerce site, and further its omni-channel offerings in the future. “This is just the first step for rue21 toward a complete omni-channel experience,” says Fisch. We are building the foundation that is required to reposition rue21 in today's marketplace.”

rue21 has seen growth in its brick-and-mortar stores, indicated by the launch of rueGuy, a new segment of rue21 focused on apparel and accessory needs of young male shoppers. Now, e-commerce presents the opportunity to grow even further. Other discount fashion retailers, like H & M, have recently launched e-commerce sites in an effort to capitalize on the same opportunity. It may seem a bit late to be entering the realm of e-commerce, but managing a supply chain across more than 900 stores is a difficult task. Adding a web store on top of it is a laborious challenge the company wanted to make sure it got right the first time.

To celebrate the launch, rue21 is offering its shoppers a “Shop & Win” contest. By talking about rue21 items on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+ and using hashtag #shoprue21.com, five contestants will be chosen to win a $50 rue21 gift card. This seems like a win-win for everyone. rue21 will get have its newly launched e-commerce site promoted at a low cost, and rue21’s Millennial shoppers might be rewarded for behaviors they are likely to go through with anyway.

E-Commerce: so much more than just a channel for retailers like rue21

 

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