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Controversial SHEIN… opens a pop-up experience in Sydney

 

Hmmm. Mega-successful / online giant SHEIN has opened a pop-up experience store in Sydney today, giving local brand fans the opportunity to buy big, at small prices (and in real life). SHEIN is a Chinese-based / owned company – “the world’s largest fashion retailer… shipping across 220 countries”*.  It doesn’t often host physical stores, this is only the 2nd in Australia after a pop up in Melbourne, back in May.

A brand like SHEIN relies on massive social chatter, so they hosted an “influencer day” in Paddington ahead of today’s opening. Many of Sydney’s high-profile online fashionistas attended – no doubt they’ve all been busy posting and plugging the event ever since. A dailymail.co.uk article (“sponsored by SHEIN”) was pretty effusive, touting the brand’s “diverse offering… trend-driven styles and inclusive sizing. It offers unmatched value to Aussie shoppers, with most of their quality garments ranging from $8 to $30 and is known for fast, reliable delivery and a generous returns policy”# Um, reads a bit like word-for-word from a SHEIN marketing release (?)

Wikipedia says SHEIN “is not involved in clothing design and manufacturing, and instead obtains its products from the wholesale clothing market…”* The retailer does have it’s own labels though – “SHEIN, DAZY, MOTF, EMERY ROSE, SHEIN X, GLOWMODE, LUVLETTE, ROMWE, SHEGLAM, PETSIN, evoluSHEIN will be on show at the Sydney POP-UP”, according to dailymail.co.uk. The 3 day (Sydney) pop-up experience will be “offering a curated selection of SHEIN’s extensive online inventory – including women’s, mens’, tweens, children, home and pets…”#

SHEIN might be hoping their Sydney store will be as popular as another pop-up experience held last weekend in Texas USA. That event had to close 4 hours early on Saturday (due to low stock), on the final day shoppers lined up from 6am (for a 1200 opening) and anyone arriving after 1230 were advised to go home… On each of the 3 pop up days a security guard posted at the entrance “turned down about 20 bribes from people looking to skip the line”@

All this popularity seems due to the incredibly low prices and convenience offered by SHEIN (and online profile – “in 2020…the most talked about brand on TikToc and YouTube, and the 4th most talked about brand on Instagram”*)

The company is, however, steeped in controversy… there’s been loads of publicity about (alleged) copyright and IP infringements, working with suppliers that violate labor laws and toxic materials found in some products@. There’s more – Wikipedia also mentions tax fraud, a customer data breach, use of offensive images and the “amplification of fast fashion… targeting of young adolescents less susceptible to make wise financial decisions”*

I suppose it’s up to customers which brands they support, regardless of influenced or controversial reputations. And if they do choose to shop SHEIN… well this weekend in Sydney will be a no-brainer !

 

What –          The SHEIN pop-up experience store

Where –       17 Oxford Street, Paddington (under the Verona Cinema)

When –         until 6pm Sunday (maybe…)

 

* source :       wikipedia.org / Shein

# source :      dailymail.co.uk / SHEIN opening Sydney POP-UP store

@ source :    nytimes.com / the people’s republic of Shein

 

 

images :  Google Images / SHEIN supplied (dailymail.co.uk)

 

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