Customer story

rue21 Leverages Yext to Engage Customers at the Local Level

690+ Stores
Warrendale, PA
The Challenge
As rue21 expanded its attention to online channels, the brand wanted to improve customer engagement online while continuing to drive foot traffic to physical stores.

rue21 is a fast-fashion growth retailer with locations in shopping malls, outlets, and strip centers across the United States. By working directly with the market, rue21 reacts instantly — producing new trends and must-have styles that don’t exist anywhere else.

“We are a fast-fashion retailer catering to the teen space,” explains Joel Layton, VP of Digital Marketing. “Our focus is basically 14–24 year olds, so we make our goods affordable for that demographic.”

The Challenge

The company has begun to expand its attention to online channels. “Now we are ramping up on all these digital channels in new ways,” Layton states. “From paid search to social media, email, display, and so on.” But Layton is also mindful that most sales still come from in-person shoppers. “Let’s face it,” he remarks. “Even in today’s world, as digitized as we are, 80% of the dollars spent in retail are still spent at a physical location. That number is probably not going away in my lifetime. So physical presence is still going to be a huge play.”

In an effort to translate online engagement into offline foot traffic, Layton signed on with Yext. “Due to our physical footprint,” he explains, “we were a natural fit for Yext.”

The Solution

Yext enables brands like rue21 to manage their brand information across their websites, mobile apps, internal systems, and the entire Knowledge Network — more than 150 maps, apps, search engines, GPS systems, and social networks including Google, Apple, Facebook, Bing, and Yahoo.


When rue21 first launched with Yext, the brand increased its overall listings presence by 105%. 70,000+ addresses and 121,000+ phone numbers have been corrected, 7,000+ photos have been added, and 321,000+ business descriptions have been updated.

The Difference

Layton sees the integration of physical stores with online channels as critical for the retail industry. “Having local pages as an avenue of communication between the store and the customer has been invaluable,” says Layton. “From an acquisition standpoint, it’s great to have a platform through which I can talk to people who aren’t yet aware of us. Yext helps me to communicate store hours, sales, and event calendars with consumers. That has really been key.”

‘The retailers who will be knocking it out of the park will be the retailers who figure out how to leverage their physical presence in a digital world. It’s the whole omni-channel play. That is exactly what we are embarking on here at rue21. That’s what Yext enables us to do so well.’
Joel Layton VP of Digital Marketing
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