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Shein becomes the world’s largest online-only retailer

By Angela Gonzalez-Rodriguez


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Image: Shein's US Web

The pandemic has proven to be a boon for Shein: As of October 2020, the Chinese e-tailer was the world’s largest online-only fashion company, as measured by sales of goods under the company’s own brand, according to Euromonitor International’s proprietary research.

Zara and H&M are Shein’s direct competitors, although the former two sell both online and in physical stores. Others offering competitors to the Chinese fashion group are British fast fashion retailers Boohoo and ASOS.

Shein became the US most downloaded app

In the first half of this year alone, Shein’s app racked up more than 81 million downloads around the world. In mid-May, it overtook Amazon as the most installed shopping app in the United States across the App Store and Google Play combined, according to analytics firms App Annie and Sensor Tower. Per Bloomberg’s data, last May Shein’s app became the most downloaded one in the United States and worldwide with 17.5 million downloads.

On May 11, Shein became the top shopping app on Android by new downloads in the US, and six days later took the top spot on iOS as well, according to App Annie. It briefly topped the Android chart in late April. Shein also climbed to the No.1 place on the App Store chart, which measures a combination of downloads, velocity and a few other signals to determine ranks, published Tech Crunch.

While Amazon is back to being number one, “daily installs between the two apps since then have largely remained close,” highlighted Craig Chapple from Sensor Tower. He added that in recent months, Shein “has really exploded onto the scene” and that “everybody wants [to know] everything that they possibly can about Shein.”

Shein offers clothing for women in sizes ranging from XS to 5XL, as well as menswear, clothes for kids and, makeup, tech and accessories for pets and the household. Present in 220 markets, the company is one of China’s most valuable privately-held businesses. In fact, a year ago, Shein’s valuation was of 15 billion dollars, according to PitchBook. By this summer, that had doubled to 30 billion dollars, according to CNN Business. Revenue reached 10 billion dollars in June, reported Bloomberg.