Looks from Rue21.com.

Teen retailer, Rue 21 has selected First Insight’s predictive analytics tools to inform buying and design decisions for its apparel, footwear and accessories categories. First Insight provides a suite of solutions that reviews consumer behavior to deliver insights for future business strategies.

“First Insight is enabling us to test a wide range of possible new products within 24 to 48 hours. This capability enables us to drive speed to market with the right items, which is critical for a fast fashion retailer,” said Karen Pinney, chief merchandising officer at Rue 21. “When compared to in-store testing, First Insight is faster, more accurate and less costly because we avoid buying unproductive store test inventory.”

First Insight is one of many solution providers such as Salesforce, SAP and Emarsys that aim to resolve current pain points that brands are experiencing when attempting to decipher seemingly obtuse shopper preferences. With an increasingly saturated retail market, merchants are charged with gaining deep insights into what makes their consumers click, buy and return.

“Rue 21 is re-energizing the brand, and that starts with having the right product at the right price,” said Michael Appel, chief executive officer of Rue 21. “First Insight is helping us ensure we have differentiated products that our customers will value. We are already seeing results through eliminating underperforming products early in the selection process, while reinvesting our inventory dollars into higher performers.”

First Insight reviews social engagement to secure real-time preferences, pricing and sentiment data on prospective products. After being scrubbed by the tech provider’s analytics, Rue 21 will be able to determine which items – at what cost — will deliver the highest purchase rate.

“We’re in the middle of a retail renaissance and while the retail industry outlook doesn’t look as dire as it once did, it’s more important than ever for retailers and brands to execute to really thrive,” said Greg Petro, chief executive officer and founder of First Insight.

Last year, Rue 21 announced the shuttering of over 400 U.S. stores — roughly a third of its 1,200 locations — in order to cut costs. Since then, the retailer has made a tech play to appeal to the fleeting Gen Z shopper. Following the news of the closures, it revealed a virtual stylist chat bot available on Facebook Messenger, powered by Mode.AI.

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