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Shein's sales tapered in 2021, potentially affecting its 100 billion dollar valuation

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

May 17, 2022

Retail

Image: Shein

When Shein last year revealed it was preparing for a listing, potentially valuing its fast fashion business at 100 billion dollars, it was ambitious by any standards.

The Chinese DTC retailer has become a phenomenon in its own right, surpassing global giants Zara and H&M to be the leader in the low-priced fashion market.

Sales skyrocketed during the pandemic, accelerating 250 percent growth in one year, making Shein the biggest single brand online store in the world.

But times are changing. New figures published by Bloomberg say Shein’s growth slowed to 60 percent in 2021, much less dazzling than the previous year. Revenue is thought to have grown from 10 bn dollars in 2020 to 16 bn dollars in 2021.

The United States remains the largest market for Shein, and the brand does not currently sell online in its Chinese home market. The company was said to be establishing its headquarters in Singapore, in order to facilitate an IPO in the U.S.

Other fashion e-tailers, such as Zalando and Boohoo, also reported a drop in sales in 2021. The world is emerging from the pandemic with new shopping habits and needs.

A slowdown in sales for Shein could greatly affect its lofty listing ambitions, which would value the company more than H&M and Zara combined. The route to being listed on the New York stock exchange no longer looks as easy as it did last year.

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