Under the terms of the deal of which the value was undisclosed, Shein will acquire the IP and trademark of Missguided while Frasers will retain Missguided’s real estate and employees.

Frasers points out that Missguided employees have now been integrated into Fraser’s fashion division.

Michael Murray, CEO of Frasers Group, says: “With I Saw it First and Missy Empire, we now have a foothold in women’s digital-first fashion. Retaining the combined Frasers fashion teams whilst rationalising our portfolio in this space to focus on fewer brands makes a lot of sense in the current climate. We are also excited about the ongoing discussions around further collaboration between Frasers Group and Shein.”

Analyst reaction

The independent investment group Shore Capital believes the acquisition of Missguided is particularly noteworthy because it marks Shein’s first acquisition of a British brand, aligning well with its focus on the UK as one of the fastest-growing markets.

It continues: “In our view, the sale of Missguided to Shein could be a precursor to leveraging Frasers’ expansive UK store portfolio, enabling Shein to bridge the gap between online and offline shopping experiences. Such a strategic partnership would naturally complement both parties’ capabilities and reach. Frasers would benefit from the footfall generated by Shein shoppers, while Shein would leverage Frasers’ physical stores as an entry into traditional retail channels.”

The news comes just over a year after Frasers Group acquired Missguided for a cash consideration of £20m ($25.2m). The acquisition marked the company’s first foray into the online fashion pureplay space.

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This also follows the rumours from September this year, when Frasers Group refused to be drawn into speculation it is in talks with Shein to offload the Missguided brand.

At that time, GlobalData apparel analyst Alice Price told Just Style exclusively that Shein is better placed than Frasers Group to drive the direction of an online pureplay as she says: “It is yet to turn around the brand since acquiring it back in May 2022.”

Others, like retail analyst Neil Saunders at GlobalData, believed it was part of Shein’s plan to round out its proposition and become less reliant on ultra-cheap apparel.

“While Forever 21 isn’t premium, it is a credible brand that adds more fashion heft to Shein’s offer and may help attract some new consumers. Shein will also hope that the addition of a well-known American name will help to lessen focus on its manufacturing practices, which have come under scrutiny.”

In addition to this, Frasers’ acquisition spree has been working in the Group’s favour. Earlier in July, Frasers Group reported “record” financial performance for FY23 with pre-tax profits doubling thanks to its growing brand portfolio.