Store designed for teens, young adults opens

By AMANDA VOSS - Daily News

June 11, 2014

Patrons walk back their cars with merchandise in hand from rue21 on
Thursday afternoon in West Bend.

Photo by John Ehlke

WEST BEND - Area teens and young adults have another place to express their style as clothing store rue21 opened in West Bend last week.

The store opened in the former Fireside Books and Gifts at 1331 W. Paradise Drive.

Kelly Evanovich, rue21 center marketing manager, said by that email the store offers trendy fashion.

Rue21 is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and has nearly 1,000 stores in 47 states. It offers girl’s clothing, lingerie, yoga wear, shoes, girl’s accessories, fragrance, beauty, guy’s clothing, guy’s shoes, guy’s accessories and its newest line rueblue Swim.

West Bend was chosen because the city has a strong regional market with a lot of retail, Evanovich said.

“It fits into our expansion throughout Milwaukee and the surrounding suburban markets,” Evanovich said.

A bicyclist passes by Rue 21 on Thursday afternoon in West Bend.
Photo by John Ehlke

Melissa Goldsmith, rue21 district manager, was at the grand opening on Thursday and said it took only a couple months, but a lot of hard work for to transform the space that housed the bookstore into rue21.

Construction started in late March and it took about eight weeks. It took about a week for Goldsmith and her team of 30 temporary associates to fill the store with neon-colored, bold-printed apparel and accessories.

Goldsmith said rue21 offers style and transitional sizes preteen to junior.

“We bring a lot of fun and energy,” Goldsmith said. “We try to sell our culture. The guy side is a huge push. There’s nowhere for guys to shop. The guy’s department is a huge need out here.”

Goldsmith calls the store’s apparel fast-paced fashion.Items are shipped daily to rue21 from a distribution center in Weirton, West Virginia.

Goldsmith said there will be about four managers but the number of associates will vary each season. 

“It’s a good fit judging by the attitude of our hires,” she said. "We’re really excited,” she added.

Evanovich said she would encourage people to come to rue21 because of the wide selection for fashion-conscious customers.