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Shein Inks Deal for In-Store Presence

Customers of Shein will soon be able to go beyond online shopping to experience shop-in-shops and in-store returns in Forever 21 locations across the U.S..

Shein’s partnership with Forever 21 will establish both physical and online spaces for the fast-fashion retailer, accelerating cross-selling at Forever 21’s mall stores and Shein’s online marketplace.

(To learn more about Shein, see our previous post about Shein and fast fashion.)

Video Spotlight:  

This post is based on the ModernRetail article, Shein’s deal with Forever 21 lays the groundwork for its Amazon-like ambitions, by Vidhi Choudhary, August 28, 2023; The Verge article, Shein beat out its competitors — soon it could sell Forever 21 clothes, by Mia Sato, August 24, 2023; and the YouTube video in the Spotlight.  Image source: cokada/E+/Getty Images

Discussion Questions:

1.  In what ways is Shein’s partnership with Forever 21 foreshadowing its Amazon ambition?

Guidance: Amazon, having built a solid reputation as an established e-commerce giant, has expanded into a number of physical ventures including Amazon Go (convenience store), Amazon Fresh (grocery), and Amazon Style (fashion).

Shein, an online startup in fast fashion, shares Amazon’s vision of operating in both online and physical spaces. By partnering with Forever 21, Shein has the opportunity to establish its credibility as an online fashion retailer while gaining a physical presence at Forever 21’s locations across the U.S.. In return, Forever 21 can rely on Shein’s e-commerce expertise to reach online shoppers.

2. How is Shein expanding its e-commerce operations from a location planning perspective?

Guidance: Shein started out as a fast fashion e-retailer. It has not relied on a physical storefront to reach its customers.  Now that it has amassed 150 million online users, Shein needs to grow its customer base beyond the online platform.

The partnership with Forever 21 allows Shein to have a physical presence at Forever 21’s stores, with initiatives such as shop-in-shops and in-store returns, broadening its reach to both online and mall shoppers.

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