updated 5/5/2011 7:46:16 AM ET 2011-05-05T11:46:16

WARRENDALE, Pa., May 5, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- rue21, inc. (Nasdaq:RUE), a leading specialty apparel retailer, today announced the opening of its 500th etc! store located in Franklin Mills, PA.

rue21's etc! format was introduced five years ago to highlight the company's expanded accessories category, and has since been incorporated into all new rue21 stores and remodels. The five prongs of etc! – footwear, fragrance/beauty, accessories, jewelry, and the tarea® brand of intimate apparel and sleepwear – are merchandised together in approximately 1,000 sq. ft. within rue21 stores and have been important in driving incremental sales. The etc! categories offer customers an ability to create an entire look from head to toe in a fun and feel good atmosphere.

Bob Fisch, President and CEO, stated: "We are very pleased to announce the opening of our 500th etc! store. The etc! business continues to be an important part of our overall strategy as we push to increase our market share. As we open and convert stores to this format, we drive square footage and high-margin incremental sales, and also make our stores even more of a destination for our target demographic. I would like to congratulate our merchandising, real estate, construction, and field teams for their combined efforts in making our etc! format stores a strong success and also once again putting us on track to accomplish our 2011 store growth objectives." 

In addition to opening its 500th etc! store, the Company recently opened a store in its 45th state, South Dakota, on April 28th and will be opening its first two stores in its 46th state, Montana, later this month. The Company is on target to open 110 new stores and convert approximately 35 existing stores to the etc! format in 2011.

About rue21, inc.:

rue21 is a leading specialty apparel retailer offering exclusive branded merchandise and the newest trends at a great value. The Company currently operates 677 stores in 45 states. Learn more at www.rue21.com .

CONTACT:  Joseph Teklits / Melissa Mackay
          ICR, Inc
          203-682-8200 
          jteklits@icrinc.com

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