Store Manager (Former Employee) – NC – November 8, 2015
I managed a rue21 for several years. I worked 60-70 hour weeks on average because the workload was so intense. Store Managers drop like flies with this company because it is impossible to keep up. The payrate is not commensurate with experience or with what is expected. Payroll was not based on sales volume; rather, it was allocated solely on square footage of the store. Stores that averaged $800k/year were given 10-15% more payroll hours than stores that made $1.2 million/year. If you weren't making plan sales, you were expected to trim hours, but if you were exceeding plan (even a double digit increase), you were not given extra payroll.
The company boasts on its desire to promote from within, but it is nearly impossible to actually make that happen. I watched really great employees in various stores get turned down for positions that they deserved and would excel in, and I also saw people get promoted who lacked the talent and commitment to lead store teams.
The company does focus on customer service, which is definitely a plus. However, the workload and constant change within the stores to increase sales is difficult to keep up with. Stores are expected to make 4.5% of their sales from rue's exclusive fragrances, which would not be so difficult if the fragrances were actually worth the money. Within an hour or so of spraying, the scent has dissipated, making the fragrance a waste of money. Customers were fully aware of this, too, especially repeat customers. The stress that is placed on management teams to meet the 4.5% goal often led to increased turnover. Salesmore... associates were paid minimum wage, or (if they were lucky), $7.50/hour. For this rate, they were expected to keep the store recovered (including 10+ tables of folded merchandise), process shipment to standards and merchandise on the sales floor, and customer service, all while meeting fragrance goals. Other stores in our center offered $8.50+/hour with no experience and half the workload.
The employee discount was 25% off regular price, which really blew. Customers had a better discout than employees by the time they purchased BOGO merchandise and paired it with a coupon. Employees were given associate appreciation discounts every month or so, which seemed great until you were pressured to achieve a certain amount of sales dollars from associates alone. For sales associates working 10-15 hours/week, it really shouldn't be expected that they spend $100+ every month. Managers were also expected to hand over a large chunk of their paychecks every month. If rue simply increased the employee discount to a higher amount or allowed the discount to be used on BOGO items, I'm sure employees would have purchased more throughout the month instead of hoarding things in the back on hold and then never purchasing the majority of it.
I would not recommend this company if you strive for a work/home balance. I cannot express how many events that I missed out on with my family because work was made to be my priority. I cannot remember the last time that I celebrated Thanksgiving or Christmas with my own family because rue made it impossible. Thankfulky, I don't have to worry about it this year.less
Cute clothes, 50% discount monthly, customer service focused
No life balance, heavy workload, not willing to listen to feedback from stores
Great work environment with a awesome team willing to work together
Assistant Store Manager (Current Employee) – Marietta, GA – October 30, 2015
Working wit a great team of people who are willing to get the job done.A multitude of task daily and weekly to be addressed to make the store and company stay on top of our targeted market. The management staff and corporate team are willing to guide and inform you in the correct way to improve your skill set with the company.
Very Productive, fast pace, and trendy evironment.
Assistznt Manager (Former Employee) – Port Orange, FL – October 27, 2015
A typical management day at Rue221, is would consist of staying optimistic, opening the store, taking deposit, doing paper work, checking emails for updates and new upcoming events. Then we look for markdowns and push freight out of our back onto the floors. Checking in shipment and ensuring that the associates know what the promotions are and making sure they are informing the customers.
Very fast pace, and amazing customers.
Associates aren't really treated fairly by upper management.
Unreasonable expectations. Never enough hours. Higher management was so hard to communicate with.
Assistant Manager (Former Employee) – Cedar Hill, TX – October 26, 2015
The company overall was so busy with so little hours, VM's were done during store hours with no extra associates, shipment was intense. Not enough pay for such a stressful job, District managers did not care to check in on you even when you asked for help.
Retail Manager (Former Employee) – Harrisburg, PA – October 20, 2015
Personally it's great for college student or someone who has a very flexible schedule. As long as you don't irritate the store manager your job is easy and fun but if you do then it can be a stressful job. I loved it but needed something more stable.
Sales Associate (Former Employee) – Altus, OK – October 20, 2015
Work at Rue21 was good for longest. Decent pay, fun working environment, and customer service was a vital part of making your quota with certain accessories that needed to be sold. Management was kind, and if I could, I'd do it again.
Sales Associate (Former Employee) – South Burlington, VT – October 15, 2015
Often times you would be hard pressed to shove a ten dollar bottle of fragrance in customer's faces. Other times you would feel like your competing to sell said fragrances, the rest of the time you spend folding clothes frivolously.
manager (Former Employee) – canton, Ga – October 14, 2015
they would put so much on you and expect you to get it all done that day and do so much more. Open all holidays when we wouldn't even be making money, and other stores would be closed. They did not truly care about their employees, jus cared about making money.
Decent place to work while in college or high school.
Sales Associate (Former Employee) – Las Cruces, NM – October 13, 2015
By no means is rue21 a place to work if you have plans to advance in the company or expect a far increase in your starting pay. Nearing the 2 year mark I had received only one raise of $0.26 while any openings in management positions were given to those coming from outside the company. Store management was affective and far while management at a regional and national level had little or no knowledge of the direction for the company. Hands down the worse company I have ever been employed by in terms of organization and having a clear direction, making day-to-day work hard due to the confusion. Benefits included a discount on already cheap clothes. Hours are limited in stores so unless you are the store management's favorite, don't expect to get more than 10-15 hours a week.
Laid Back atmosphere
Short Breaks, lack of direction, low discount, lack of hours, no room to grow in company.
There's a lot of store drama with the managers, but the head manager is a great guy and the store overall is a great and fun place to work. Normal shifts are 4-4.5 hrs, and normal duties are organizing clothes and working the cash register.
rue21 is a very fast paced working environment. There is always consent change that occurs every other week, whether it's,visuals, mannequin updates, or huge sales. There is always room for growth within the company and you will learn a lot about how the business is ran.
Assistant Manager/Sales (Current Employee) – Bowling Green, OH and Mesa, AZ – September 25, 2015
Rue21 is a sales oriented and task heavy company. You learn to balance customer servicing and projects in the best way to benefit the company. Rue21 allows management to have individual responsibilities for the store that allow you to develop qualities that you wouldn't elsewhere.
Assistant Store Manager (Former Employee) – Athens, GA – September 25, 2015
You only get approximately 8 to 10 hrs per week. If you get 12 to 15 hrs then you are doing it big! They change store layouts every 2 days making it confusing to associates and customers. If you dont sell a certain amount of fragrances per day then you are constantly threatened with termination. No exaggeration.
Fun atmosphere, young environment
low wage per hour, unrealistic sales goals, hassling customers to buy fragrance