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Type Private
Industry Retail
Founded 1987
Headquarters Warrendale, Pennsylvania
Number of locations 1002- EOY 2013
Key people Bob Fisch; CEO
Kim A. Reynolds; SVP-Merchandising
Dirk Armstrong; SVP-Store Ops
Keith McDonough, SVP-CFO
Michael Holland; SVP-CIO
Products Apparel
Owner(s) Apax Partners

rue21 Inc., formerly known as Pennsylvania Fashions Inc. (as well as $9.99 Stockroom, rue21) , is headquartered in the Pittsburgh suburb of Warrendale, Pennsylvania and is a specialty discount retailer of young men and women’s casual apparel and accessories. In 2013, Apax Partners, a global private equity firm, acquired the company by funds advised for $42.00 per share in cash.[1][2]

In February 2002 Pennsylvania Fashions Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[3] It was then that SKM emerged as the majority stakeholder three years after Cary Klein sold a 50% stake to the Stamford, Connecticut-based investment firm. At the time sales among the nearly 250 stores were thought to be between $180 and $200 million annually with approximately 1,800 employees.

The company exited Chapter 11 as rue21 Inc. in May 2003 after undergoing voluntary reorganization.[4] It set out an ambitious plan to expand its 170 stores over the next five years. Their ability to expand into underserved markets is evident by the store growth from their 500th store in Harlingen, TX on July 23, 2009 through November 14, 2013, when they opened their 1000th store in Enid, OK.

rue21 continued its growth and expansion on March 17, 2011 by announcing that it would be doubling the size of its 189,000-square-foot (17,600 m2) Distribution Center located in Weirton, West Virginia. This expansion occurred 12 months after a Distribution Center upgrade that included a new pack-to-light system as well as upgrades to the warehouse management system. CFO Keith McDonough stated, "The recently completed Distribution Center upgrades, including additional packing capacity, new systems and performance metrics, coupled with this planned expansion, gives us the ability to support our current stores and gives us the flexibility for our planned future growth." [5] This upgrade was completed in June 2012.[6]

rue21's website displays selected inventory that is available in their brick & mortar stores. As of November 2013, U.S.-based customers have been able to purchase merchandise off of the redesigned website.[7]


  1. ^ Apax Partners Completes Takeover of rue21
  2. ^ Funds Advised by Apax Partners Complete Acquisition of rue21
  3. ^ [1] Pittsburgh Business Times. “Pennsylvania Fashions files Chapter 11 ” Bizjournals. 04 Feb 2002. Web. 04 July 2012.
  4. ^ [2] Pittsburgh Business Times. “Former Pennsylvania Fashions exits Chapter 11.” Bizjournals. 19 May 2003. Web. 04 July 2012.
  5. ^ Global News Wire. “rue21, inc. Announces Plans to Expand Its Distribution Center in Weirton, WV” 17 March 2011. Web.
  6. ^ Weirton Daily Times. “rue21 expands distribution center” 27 June 2012. Web.
  7. ^ [3], ecomm.

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