Fast fashion giant Shein continues to take Europe by storm

Shein has just reached another significant milestone, making its very first acquisition in the UK with the purchase of women’s clothing brand Missguided

The rise of Chinese fast-fashion giant Shein over the past few years has been nothing short of remarkable. 

In the space of less than 15 years, the company has grown to become the largest fashion retailer in the world, earning a valuation of US$100 billion – surpassing its closest competitors, Zara and H&M

Revenue in 2022 was US$22.7 billion and is projected to reach almost US$60bn by 2025. 

And now, Shein has reached another significant milestone, making its very first acquisition in the UK with the purchase of women’s clothing brand Missguided from Frasers Group

The deal sees Singapore-headquartered Shein buy Missguided’s intellectual property and trademarks, while Frasers Group will retain staff members and real estate. 

Like countless other fast-fashion brands, Missguided was a big beneficiary of the pandemic, but collapsed into administration last year before Frasers agreed a US$24 million rescue deal. 

Commenting on his own company’s acquisition, Donald Tang, Shein Executive Chairman, said: “Shein aims to reignite the Missguided brand, capitalising on its unique brand personality and fuelling its global growth through SHEIN's on-demand production model, unparalleled e-commerce expertise and global reach.”

Shein: The rise of a retail giant

Shein was founded as ZZKKO in 2008 by Chris Xu, before changing its name to SheInside.

The business initially specialised in wedding dresses but, from 2015, began pouring almost all its resources into fast fashion. 

Shein was born and has, over the past eight years, made a rapid ascent into the mainstream, aided by its clever use of platforms including TikTok and Pinterest, not to mention numerous partnerships with reality TV stars and social media influencers. 

Shein has enjoyed rapid growth over the past few years. Picture: Shein

Today, the organisation has around 10,000 employees based across the globe and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries. 

Shein has been a particularly big hit among Gen Z, thanks largely to low prices and its ability to churn out thousands of new designs every day.

Taking Europe by storm

Shein is already a phenomenon across the UK and Europe, achieving net sales of US$5.4bn last year, according to data from ECDB

This puts it ahead of H&M (US$4.1bn) and Zara (US$2.9bn), who have traditionally been the industry’s biggest names. 

Shein's domination of the market is best demonstrated by its huge share of sales in nations including Spain (11.8%), Italy and France (both 10.7%), while in the UK this figure stands at 6.3%. 

Now, the company is working hard to grow its already-significant influence in the region, including through acquisitions and the expansion of its physical presence.

Shein opened its new EMEA headquarters in Dublin in 2023. Picture: Shein

Earlier this year, Shein opened its EMEA headquarters in Dublin with the intention of building on its commitment to local economies, communities and consumers. The new site hosts the organisation’s strategic IT hub for EMEA and is at the heart of regional operations. 

Moreover, as part of Shein’s efforts to empower local entrepreneurs, its in-house fashion incubator programme, SHEIN X, has collaborated with around 400 designers and artists since its launch in January 2021. 

The idea is to support designers in their aspirations to launch a fashion collection by providing them with the necessary knowledge, experience, network and global sales channel.


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