Shein will be launching its first physical store this month. The e-commerce business joins a growing movement toward omnichannel retail strategy to meet consumer demand.
Shein is set to open their first full scale permanent bricks and mortar store in Tokyo later this month. Shein is a global online fashion retailer known for their cheap fast fashion. This new store is anything but traditional with the Chinese company taking an uncommon approach where no sales take place in their new 2,163 square feet store. Customers are encouraged to browse and try on clothes, and then scan unique QR codes on the tags to purchase items via the Shein app and have them shipped to their homes.
For years, Shein has hosted various pop-up stores globally. Recently a Sydney store hosted a weekend pop up in September. This is the company’s first permanent store, located in the fashion capital of Japan in Harajuku. Shein’s pop ups have allowed customers to make purchases in store, so what has inspired this new model?
“Shein’s focus remains digital-first,” a Shein spokesperson says. Many purchases on Shein’s website are boosted by coupon stacking and its cashback initiative, and with clothing items priced as low as $4 affordability is key for the business. The new store appears to serve a showroom function with only three fitting rooms and a highly promoted photobooth. The location is also promoted as an events space and with a huge amount of website traffic being driven by social media promotions, Shein has embraced this showroom and marketing function of the space.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Shein is set to generate $24 billion in revenue this year. In 2020, Shein was the most talked about brand on TikTok for not only its quick turnaround in microtrends and affordability, but for its negative impact that comes with fast fashion from unethical production to the massive environmental damages. While Shein has taken steps to better their ethics, this storefront misses an opportunity to help reduce the carbon footprint produced by shipping items direct to customers.
This foray into omnichannel strategy reflects a growing shift for pureplay retailers. Recently, ecommerce store Warby Parker has announced plans to open hundreds of physical stores based on customer demand. This shift comes with growing shipping costs and logistics delays, as well as a post pandemic desire to connect. Locally, pureplay travel retailer Luxury Escapes has announced it is opening a physical store in Chadstone Shopping Centre.
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