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Shein customers can now make returns at Forever 21 stores

Shein and Forever 21 partner with Happy Returns (Image: Happy Returns)
Shein and Forever 21 team up with Happy Returns (Image: Happy Returns).

Online fashion retailer Shein is making it easier for its customers to return merchandise. 

Shein and Forever 21 are deepening their partnership with assistance from reverse logistics specialist Happy Returns. Shein, which agreed to design, manufacture and distribute a line of Forever 21  apparel and accessories in October 2023, is now offering physical returns at Forever 21's more than 300 U.S. stores nationwide.

Shein is executing the returns program using the new buy-online-return-in-store (BORIS) solution from Happy Returns, which was acquired by UPS in late 2023. The solution enables enterprise retailers to accept box-free, label-free returns and exchanges across their full store network. 

"We are always looking for new ways to optimize the shopping experience for Shein customers – from speedier delivery to easy returns," said George Chiao, president, Shein U.S. "Happy Returns has pioneered a seamless, simple returns model and we are excited to launch this offering across hundreds of Forever 21 stores across the country."

In August 2023, Shein acquired an approximate one-third interest in SPARC Group, a joint venture between Authentic and Simon Property Group. (SPARC is the core operating partner of Forever 21 in the U.S.) At the same time, SPARC became a minority shareholder in Shein. 

As part of the deal between the two companies, Shein has the opportunity to test customer-focused experiences in Forever 21 U.S. locations, including shop-in-shops such as the holiday pop-up it ran in Forever 21’s Times Square store in late 2023.

"Forever 21 is looking forward to offering an easy customer experience for Shein shoppers looking to return their items while also introducing our brand to an even broader audience," said Winnie Park, CEO, Forever 21.  "Once Shein shoppers complete their return we are pleased to offer a same-day discount on their next Forever 21 purchase."

 Happy Returns Solution

The Happy Returns BORIS solution includes several customizable software and reverse logistics components:

  1. Retailers can use their own portal or Happy Returns software to generate QR codes for box-free drop off and direct shoppers to any store designated in their network.
  2. Happy Returns provides software that enables the workflow to receive and verify cross-brand, box-free returns in store. This software is compatible with any POS system that supports a browser window.
  3. Once returns are dropped off, Happy Returns provides configurable reverse logistics options to move inventory to the next best place for sale, whether that means keeping it in-store, moving it to a different store in the retailer's network, or shipping returns to an e-commerce warehouse. Everything from shipping supplies to coordinating pick-ups to shipping the inventory can be included, along with visibility to track returned goods. 
  4. Happy Returns trains and supports store employees, and also provides a dedicated team that actively monitors, manages, and supports efforts to help prevent return fraud.

"Over the past eight years, we've developed cross-brand box-free returns from an innovative idea to an enterprise-grade solution," says David Sobie, co-founder and CEO of Happy Returns. "Now we're leveraging our technology, expertise and scale in reverse logistics to be the first to enable retailers to seamlessly accept returns throughout their full networks."

Headquartered in Singapore, Shein offers Shein-branded, affordable apparel and accessories from a global network of vendors.

Authentic's brand portfolio includes Forever 21 as well as Reebok, Brooks Brothers, Ted Baker, Hunter, Vince, Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand, Aéropostale, Eddie Bauer and many more.  

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