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How Shein Beat H&M, Zara, Uniqlo in the ‘Fast-Fashion’ Game

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Fashion brand Shein recently reached the USD100 billion value, which topped that of competitors H&M and Zara. How did Shein do it?

‘Fast Fashion’ has become a term synonymous with brands such as Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), Zara, and Uniqlo, but Shein has quickly made a name for itself in recent years, allowing it to surpass the brands in valuation.

Zara, H&M, and Uniqlo have mastered the process of mass-producing fashion seen on catwalks in a matter of three weeks in what people call fast fashion.

However, online-only retailers such as Shein have also surpassed the well-known brands in production, with Shein being able to produce thousands of designs in a day in what industry experts call “real-time retail,” with Shein leading the pack.

Shein has quickly made a name for itself after partnering with different artists such as Katy Perry, and Lil Nas X, which further elevated its market share among Gen Z shoppers globally.

Furthermore, Shein has also gained significantly during the onset of the pandemic, when people were forced inside their homes and as such, did their shopping mostly through their phones or laptops, which Shein capitalized on.

This equated to a USD10 billion in sales in 2020, which was triple their sales numbers from the previous years.

This effectively made Shein the top online-only fashion brand globally.

Moreover, Shein also capitalized on its app, which allowed it to be able to analyze what sells. Coupled with the brand’s capability to produce and launch thousands of new products daily, Shein made it easy to know what is trending, and quickly capitalize on it.

All of this led to Shein’s April 2022 valuation of USD100 billion, more than H&M and Zara combined. (GFB)

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