Rue21 on Wednesday said that former HSN president Bill Brand will be the apparel retailer's next CEO.
Brand most recently was president of shopping channel company HSN and served as chief retail officer at cruise line company Carnival, according to a company press release.
Rue21 has gone through a few changes in the top role after reorganizing in bankruptcy in 2017, a process that left it with hundreds of stores even after shutting down more than 400.
Laurie Van Brunt, who had been president of Soma Intimates at Chico's FAS, took over as president and CEO in 2018 but resigned five months later. Appel, who had been Rue21's interim CEO immediately following its bankruptcy, returned to the role, followed by Fleming this February.
These executives have expressed enthusiasm about the fast-fashion retailer's prospects. Brand himself sees potential in improving both the company's digital and in-store brand presence, a spokesperson said by email. The former "represents a growing, but still small portion of revenue," the spokesperson said.
The retailer's footprint remains large, with nearly 700 stores in 45 states with new locations opened recently. After reopening following pandemic closures, the company has "outperformed year-over-year monthly sales" and its "business is up double digits compared to the total apparel market down 12% in September," according to its release.
Brand was chosen for his expertise in "creating unique brand experiences" and in building out a "sophisticated omni-channel infrastructure," the company said.
The company credits him with bringing digital and mobile capabilities to HSN's television model and crafting strategic partnerships with Hollywood studios like Disney and celebrities. He called rue21 "one of the most compelling, yet under the radar brands in the U.S."