The deal gives Shein about a third of SPARC Group. It also helps Forever 21 reach more people by putting the brand on Shein’s online platform, which has about 150 million users. Shein, which was started in China and is based in Singapore, will also be able to sell its clothes in Forever 21 stores across the United States.
Under the terms of the deal, SPARC Group would also get a small part of Shein. The company didn’t say what the deal was about.
The relationship between Forever 21 and Shein comes after shoe brand Skechers joined Shein’s marketplace in June. The marketplace lets buyers buy items from third-party sellers on Shein’s website. Shein opened a market in the U.S. in May, a month after it did the same thing in Brazil.
Liza Amlani, who started the consulting firm Retail Strategy Group, said that Shein is a great target for business partners who want more eyes on their brands, even though the company gets criticized on social, environmental, and political grounds.
Amlani said that Shein’s deal with Forever 21 will help it reach customers outside of its core ultra-fast fashion, mostly Gen Z, market. “A stake in SPARC would give Shein a chance to learn about retailing and get ideas for how to start a physical footprint,” she said.
A company official said that Shein has no plans to open real stores in the U.S. or other places right now.
Pop-up shops in the US and other places are still being used by the company to sell its brand.
The deal with Forever 21 will also let the fast-fashion store try out in-person experiences like “shop-in-shops” and let customers return items in real stores. When customers return more than one package from the same sale, Shein takes $7.99 out of their refunds to pay for shipping.
Reporting was done by Savyata Mishra, Deborah Sophia, and Arriana McLymore in Bengaluru, and by Shilpi Majumdar and Tomasz Janowski in New York.