E-Commerce

Rumors (again) swirl of a Shein US IPO

The company denied the Reuters report, but the question remains: Would such a move work for Gen Z’s favorite fast-fashion operation?
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NBC/The Office

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Retail Brew delivers the latest retail industry news and insights surrounding marketing, DTC, and e-commerce to keep leaders and decision-makers up to date.

Shein, Gen Z’s favorite fast-fashion operation, is showing no signs of slowing crop-top output. And yesterday, sources told Reuters the Chinese e-tailer is revisiting plans to go public in the US this year.

  • Insiders also claimed that founder Chris Xu is considering a Singapore citizenship change to, in part, sidestep the stricter rules for offshore IPOs in China.

Meanwhile, a Shein spokesperson told Retail Brew the company has no plans to go public, and that Xu has not applied for Singaporean citizenship.

Still, the question remains: Would a US IPO work for Shein?

International appeal: “Given the US is one of the company’s largest markets and US investors have a strong appetite for e-commerce retailers, a listing in New York would make sense,” Neil Saunders, managing director and retail analyst at GlobalData, told Retail Brew in an email.

“An IPO is a good way to raise funds, especially at a time when Shein is riding high in terms of its growth and valuation,” he added.

  • Coresight estimated that Shein pulled in more than $10 billion in sales in 2020. Sources told Reuters that figure hit ~$15.7 billion (or around 100 billion yuan) last year, and they put the company’s valuation at about $50 billion in 2021.

“That said, launching in the US may cause some backlash in China,” Saunders noted. He reasoned that China typically doesn’t like it when homegrown companies list in the states and is looking to put more rules and regulations in place to prevent it.

Flashback: Rumors swirled last year that Shein was preparing to go public—which the company denied then as well, while noting it was a future ambition. According to Reuters’ sources, Xu set his sights on a US IPO roughly two years ago but put the plan on pause due to rising tensions between the countries and a shaky market.—JG

Retail news that keeps industry pros in the know

Retail Brew delivers the latest retail industry news and insights surrounding marketing, DTC, and e-commerce to keep leaders and decision-makers up to date.