Shein store in New York
Photo: DAVID DEE DELGADO / REUTERS
Chinese online fashion retailer Shein has apparently filed for an IPO in the US. Major US banks Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley have been hired as lead managers for the IPO, which could take place in 2024, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Monday, citing insiders. Shein declined to comment on the report. The company was valued at more than $60 billion in May. According to earlier statements by insiders, the company had aborted an attempt to jump onto the US stock exchange floor in 2020.
Shein, which has become one of the world's largest online fashion houses thanks to low prices, produces clothing in China and sells it exclusively abroad, mainly in the US and Europe. Because of the low prices, the company is suspected of having its goods manufactured under inhumane conditions.
Everywhere, the fashion industry is trying to shed the image of the polluter, constantly talking about better working conditions and sustainable consumption. Shein, on the other hand, is primarily concerned with quickly pushing cheap goods into the market, copying is part of the concept. At its core, it's a technology company for which garments are just data points. Growth potential no longer lies in improving quality, but in the accuracy of recommendation algorithms. The kids should not only buy, but also stay in the app for as long as possible, become users, part of a community.
The company has long since ceased to be limited to clothing, but also manufactures furniture, cosmetics, pet accessories, serving those export markets that are growing the fastest. Many observers therefore no longer consider the comparison with other fashion companies to be accurate.