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SHEIN to Open its First Store in Tokyo

Updated: Dec 26, 2022

A store that only showcases products

As many of us are aware, the ultra-fast fashion brand SHEIN, originally founded in China, is now unstoppable. Gradually gaining its popularity during the pandemic, SHEIN is now shipping across 220 countries and is valued $100 billion after a funding round in April 2022. Day by day, more and more people are starting to use the SHEIN app to buy clothes for its numerous trendy items at shockingly cheap prices.

On November 13, SHEIN opened its first store on Cat Street in Tokyo's Harajuku neighbourhood. The first physical store opened as there was a great popularity of pop-up shops both in Japan and abroad. This first store is now expected to be the venue for the brands' future events.

What's surprising about the new physical store in Tokyo is that it does not actually sell anything: QR codes are attached to each product in the store for visitors to scan and find the same products on the SHEIN app or website. Eventually, customers need to make purchases and organize delivery.

What is the intention behind SHEIN's new physical store opening?

The first question that came to me as I heard the store opening news is 'why is SHEIN now opening a store despite its previous strategy of not making a physical appearance?' SHEIN's products are much cheaper than other fast fashion brands because the brand does not own actual stores, and the store opening now seems controversial. However, the answer to the question may be that the brand wants to regain its brand reputation and make the brand image better.

Despite having a $100 billion valuation in April this year, the figure dropped to $30 billion by July. Whilst customers are increasing, there is growing criticism over SHEIN's social and environmental efforts, such as child labour, copyright theft, and pollution.

In response to this, the company is now trying to sell less cheap products and make sure its workers are treated lawfully and the environmental effects are less. MOTF, a premium line of fashion, is one of its new product categories that have more expensive prices.

However, the brand's image is already deeply rooted and it is undeniably difficult for the brand to transform from low price affordable retailer to a more eco-friendly company following CSR.

Thus, the new store in Tokyo not just showcases its products, but may also imply one of SHEIN's new strategies for making customers believe that the products are becoming much more environmentally friendly and are sold at more normal prices.

Thank you for reading :)

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