rue21: fashions, fun and bold

Headquartered in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, rue21 is an American clothing retailer that offers fun, unique and bold fashions for the young and the young-at-heart. As of August 2019, there were 696 rue21 store locations.

rue21’s 696 US Store Locations

rue21 is all about fashion that’s fun, casual, comfortable and affordable. The company prides itself on bringing its customers the absolute latest styles that you simply won’t find anywhere else.

rue21, fashions for the young and the young-at-heart

Back to the beginning
In 1989 Cary Klein bought the Pennsylvania Fashions Inc. business from his father and went on to develop the rue21 discount clothing idea which he grew into a 250-store chain.

With a goal to put the chain on the stock market, Klein sold a 50 percent stake in Pennsylvania Fashions Inc. to Connecticut-based private equity firm Saunders Karp and Megrue. The plan was that Saunders Karp and Megrue would lead the chain to an initial public offering.

Klein stepped down as CEO of the company in 2001 and Bob Fisch, former leader of the Casual Corner Group retail business, took over his position. Fisch remains CEO today. In 2002 Saunders Karp and Megrue took majority ownership of the company.

Saunders Karp & Megrue was acquired by United Kingdom-based investment firm Apax Partners in 2005.

rue21 is born!
Fisch announced a major expansion plan in 2006. His first step was to rename Pennsylvania Fashions to rue21 and moved into new headquarters in Warrendale, a suburb of Philadelphia. His plan was big: to open 400 new stores in the next five years, bringing the total to 650 store locations in 40 states.

rue21, fashions for the young and the young-at-heart

In 2009 rue21’s public stock began selling on the Nasdaq and its initial sales target of $16 to $18 per square jumped to $24.30 on the first day of trading. Next, the plan was to grow the chain to 1,000 stores in five years.

By 2013, there were 932 rue21 stores in 47 states, all of which were bought by Apax for a premium of $42 per share.

In April 2017, as brick and mortar stores began to suffer due to the increase in online shopping, rue21 announced plans to close about 400 stores.

In addition to popular clothing brands, rue21 offers its own brands, such as rue21 etc.!, CARBON elements, RAE, true by rue21, ruebeauty, ruebleu SWIM, rueDecor. And, of course, you can also shop rue21 online. In some of the rue21 stores rue21 customers can choose from rueGuy, an expanded men’s department.

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