rue21 to Build Out Unified Commerce and Analytics Capabilities

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
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Apparel retailer rue21 has been working on moving the consumer to the center of the retailer’s operations and is now turning to unified commerce and data analytics to achieve this customer-centric goal.

I order to prioritize initiatives around how to best serve shoppers, rue21 partnered with retail consulting firmColumbus Consulting International. Key milestones were outlined, including achieving real-time inventory visibility across all channels to enable buy online, pick-up in store services; gaining more consumer data and leveraging analytics to target assortment; and balancing inventory across the supply chain in order to respond to shifting consumer trends.

The consulting firm evaluated rue21's current system capabilities and developed an IT roadmap that includes both foundational and analytical components, delivering short-term and long-term benefits to the business. Additionally, infrastructure, cloud and security strategies were considered. Finally, IT processes and organization were considered to ensure an ongoing alignment between business and technology.

“Columbus Consulting has deep expertise helping retailers to objectively assess their current technology solutions and position them on a path toward success,” said Mark Chrystal, chief analytics officer, rue21. “I found Columbus’ outside opinion and knowledge essential to validating parts of our approach and contributing insight into the future vision. The unified commerce and data analytics projects we’re now focusing on will provide us with a customer-centric view of our business, allowing us to better serve our shoppers.”

During the assessment phase of the project, Columbus found that rue21’s existing data was reliable and many of its current systems were functionally sound. Furthermore, rue21’s executive team members were in alignment when it came to their goals and priorities. The retailer will move forward with building out its unified commerce and data analytics capabilities.