Shein and Forever 21 Team Up in Fast-Fashion Deal

By John Mercury August 25, 2023

Known for its ultralow prices, Shein says its app has 150 million users around the world. It has also experimented with pop-up shops in the United States before.

Shein will acquire about one-third of the shares of Sparc Group, which has owned Forever 21 since the retailer emerged from bankruptcy in 2020. Sparc is a joint venture between the conglomerate Authentic Brands Group and the mall operator Simon Property Group. As part of the deal, Sparc, whose portfolio also includes Brooks Brothers and Eddie Bauer, will become a minority shareholder in Shein.

“We look forward to finding new ways to delight our customers through the potential of this partnership,” Donald Tang, Shein’s executive director, said in a statement.

Shein is a formidable force, said Jessica Ramirez, a retail analyst at Jane Hali & Associates. But Forever 21 has something that Shein doesn’t: a large portfolio of stores.

“As much as you don’t want to have too much brick and mortar,” Ms. Ramirez said, physical locations give customers an opportunity to interact more meaningfully with a brand’s products. For now, Shein’s business is driven by “how convenient it is and how cheap it is and how many styles that are on trend that they are able to offer.”

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