Our What’s In Store series highlights what retailers are planning for the year ahead, and what customers can expect to find across their in-store and digital experiences.
We sat down with Lauren Pearson, Sr. Manager, CRM & Loyalty at rue21 to learn more:
How has rue21’s in-store strategy shifted over the past year to meet consumer demand?
We are focused on ensuring that we continue to offer our customers affordable fashion they love no matter their budget. Making fashion accessible in sizes for all continues to be a top priority, and by offering Klarna as a payment solution, we have seen a positive shift in consumer buying power. With Klarna, they are able to spend more and purchase the latest trends to show their individuality through fashion. We want to continue to grow our in-store Klarna usage to enable more of our store customers to have this same flexibility—enabling them to get more of the styles they want!
Have you eliminated or added new features to the store experience due to the pandemic?
In addition to “Buy Online, Pickup In Store,” we have implemented store safety measures and signage to encourage social distancing as a solution to help our customers feel safe while shopping. We also have kept our fitting rooms closed as an added precaution and, as a result, extended our return/exchange policy.
How are you managing unused inventory?
We are managing our inventory as closely as possible to avoid unnecessary overage and markdowns. As our customers look to us for fashion-forward options, we are always focused on providing the latest trends and want to ensure we have the newest styles available to our customers. We have been releasing new “Just Dropped” product capsules every few weeks to give our customers something new and on trend to shop regularly.
Have consumer spending behaviors changed? Which of your products are customers spending most on these days?
In the peak of the pandemic, we are one of the retailers that successfully provided a large cozy assortment for our guys, girls and our plus customer. Our loungewear offering included basic choices as well as fashion forward joggers, matchbacks and graphic tees allowing our customer to stay comfortable at home while showcasing their style. We have become a destination for graphic tees, sweatshirts and joggers by offering the largest assortment that update frequently with the tried and true licensed assortment we know our customer loves and seeks us out for.
Which technologies are you leveraging online and in-store to reach new audiences and enhance the customer experience?
With the recent launch of rue rewards, we have been able to enroll millions of customers into our new loyalty program. Through rue rewards, members earn points for shopping and engaging with rue21. We are connecting with our customers through social media influencers and posts across Facebook, Instagram and TikTok as well as through our rue21 blog.
It’s so important for our customers’ voices to be heard—through frequent surveys, we let our customers tell us what they like and don’t like in order to inform our product decisions. We also use customer feedback to continually improve our experience and prioritize the things that matter—such as implementing “Ship From Stores” fulfillment technology, which enables us to expand our product offerings online and speed our shipping times to get product in our customer’s hands even faster!
Klarna in-store is already boosting sales for brands in more than 60,000 brick-and-mortar stores across the US, and we’d love for yours to be next. If you’re ready to grow your business with happy returning customers and a better shopping experience, get started today.