Skip to main content

Shein reportedly seeks NRF membership to help U.S. IPO

Shein’s pop-up at the Grand Canal Shoppes in the Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas, was open over Memorial Day weekend.
A previous Shein pop-up at the Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas (Credit: Vik Chohan Photography & Photo Booth).

Shein is reportedly trying to join the retail industry's largest trade association as it pursues regulatory approval to go public here.

According to CNBC, Chinese-founded, Singapore-based global online fast-fashion giant Shein has made several unsuccessful attempts to become a member of the National Retail Federation.

Shein, which filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in the U.S. stock market with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) in late 2023, reportedly believes that NRF membership would boost its chances of receiving SEC approval. 

The NRF bills itself as the "world’s largest retail trade association" and in addition to lobbying Congress in Washington. D.C., also conducts industry research and hosts events such as the annual "Big Show" conference and exposition held in New York City every January, among other activities.

Shein declined to comment to CNBC, while the NRF declined to make specific commentary to CNBC but said it disputes many aspects of the news organization’s reporting on the matter.

Shein launched in 2012 and reported annual revenue of about $22.7 billion in 2022. It serves customers in more than 150 countries around the world — including the United States, and holds the biggest share (about 40%) of fast-fashion spend in the U.S.  

Read more CNBC coverage here.

Shein’s U.S. IPO faces hurdles

Shein’s IPO filing reportedly values the company at $66 billion. However, issues facing a potential Shein IPO include investigations over possible ties to the Chinese government being conducted by the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, as well as an August 2023 letter signed by 16 Republican state attorneys general asking that the SEC ensure the company doesn’t have any forced labor in its supply chain before allowing it to go public in the U.S.

Shein focuses on U.S. market

Shein has been expanding its presence in the U.S. via a variety of partnerships, including numerous temporary pop-up shops. The company is also collaborating with Flexport as its preferred logistics provider for the Shein Marketplace U.S. third-party sales platform and plans to open a Seattle-area U.S. supply chain office.

Other recent U.S.-based moves by Shein include a strategic partnership with Sparc Group Holdings" under which the retailer will acquire an approximately one-third interest in Sparc Group, a joint venture that includes Simon Property Group and Authentic Brands Group.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds