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Teen apparel retailer firms up executive suite with two new positions


Rue 21 has added the positions of COO and chief marketing officer to its executive roster.

The chain has promoted Dirk Armstrong to COO. Armstrong has been with rue21 for nearly five years and was formerly senior VP and director of stores. Previously, he served as senior VP, director of stores at Ann Taylor and regional director at Gap Inc.

In his new role as COO, Armstrong will focus on two key priorities, starting with driving the strategic vision of rue21’s brick-and-mortar locations and managing the 21,000 field employees across its 1,217 stores. He will also be leading the strategy that will transform the company’s girls department in-store experience to meet the girls’ merchandise transformation.

In other appointments, Brett Trent has been tapped for the newly created position of chief marketing officer at rue21. Trent has spent the past two years in the roles of chief digital officer and prior to that, senior VP of digital retail.

He brings more than 20 years of experience leveraging digital in conjunction with traditional retail marketing as the former VP of ecommerce at Ascena Retail Group, Charming Shoppes, and Goody’s. In his new role at rue21, Mr. Trent will unite the customer-facing capabilities and technology resources born within rue21’s digital platform into the customer-centric, brand vision of the marketing department.

“We’re excited to have both Dirk and Brett moving forward in these new roles for the company,” said Keith McDonough, Interim CEO at rue21. “We have clear goals in 2017 to transform the customer experience and Girls’ merchandise offering, while being completely customer-centric, and we could not have two better leaders on our team supporting this transformation.”

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