Rue 21: A smart growth strategy “from the outside in”

From a recent RetailWire discussion: Rue 21 is a fast-growing junior apparel chain focused on growing in smaller towns first. For many panelists, it feels like a bright idea…and I agree:

This appears to be a smart strategy; after all, Walmart built its business from the perimeter (small towns, exurbs) to the center. I’m not suggesting that Rue 21 is the next Walmart, but clearly there is a niche for specialty apparel stores aimed at misses and juniors, in markets too small to support a Gap, AE or Forever 21 location. This kind of real estate plan also allows specialty stores to operate at higher margins (less competition “next door”) and at lower cost…provided, of course, that Rue 21 provides the right merchandise content for its customers.


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