Forever 21 and rue21 are both clothing stores with the number 21 in their names, but they are two separate businesses that have nothing to do with each other. The two businesses do in fact compete with each other.
Forbes says that one of the main differences between the two companies as of 2014 is how big they are and how much money they make. Forever 21 is a much bigger company with more than 30,000 employees and more than $3.85 billion in sales. Rue21, on the other hand, only has 2,340 employees and a market cap of $741 million.
Rue21 is a specialty store that focuses on selling cheap items to people who can’t afford bigger or more expensive brands. It doesn’t put its logo on any of its clothes and doesn’t do traditional advertising; most of its marketing is done through word of mouth. As a result, its main competitors are considered to be mass retailers like Wal-Mart, which usually target the same lower-income group but have much bigger advertising budgets and can work with celebrities like Miley Cyrus to make popular but still cheap clothing and accessories lines.
Forever 21, on the other hand, sells clothes for men and women that are more stylish. It is more widespread, with more than 480 stores in the U.S., Canada, the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, and Europe. It has different names, such as Forever 21, XXI Forever, For Love 21, Heritage 1981, and Reference. Each name is aimed at a different group of people or place.