Shein is reportedly eyeing a potential public market debut as early as 2024 by filing a US IPO, according to sources who spoke with US publication, CNBC.
The article stated the exact valuation of the Chinese e-tailer at present remains uncertain, as discussions among the company and its advisors continue.
A confidential filing is said to be a customary step that allows companies to interact with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) privately, affording them the flexibility to make adjustments to their filings.
Over the coming months, Shein is expected to refine its paperwork and address queries from the SEC. The filing will become public when the company decides to proceed with its IPO.
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Earlier this year (3 May) Shein was the subject of speculation regarding a potential US initial public offering (IPO) which resulted in US lawmakers urging an investigation into Shein’s business model and insisting the fast-fashion giant has links to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) which allegedly engages in forced labour practices.
Shein working to shake-off ‘green-enemy’ image
Allegations of forced labour in its supply chain, violations of labour laws, and climate concerns have cast shadows over its success.
Calls from lawmakers, including republican attorneys general, urging the SEC to ensure Shein eradicates forced labour from its supply chain before entering US markets, added to the retailer’s pressure.
In July, it responded to these allegations with a spokesperson telling Just Style: “Shein has no suppliers in the Xinjiang Region. Our suppliers are based in regions including Brazil, Southern China, and Turkey. We take visibility across our entire supply chain seriously, and we are committed to respecting human rights and adhering to local laws in each market we operate in. Our suppliers must adhere to a strict code of conduct that is aligned with the International Labour Organization’s core conventions. We have zero tolerance for forced labour.”
In October, Marcelo Claure, Shein’s group vice chair and former SoftBank CEO, told CNBC that Shein was cooperating with lawmakers and taking time to meet with them to explain the business.
He said, “there’s no such thing as forced labour” in the Shein factories that he has visited.
Despite repeated acknowledgements of forced labour in its supply chain, the US publication said Shein is actively taking steps to address and rectify the issue.
In August, Shein announced it had struck a deal to acquire a third of Forever 21’s US operator SPARC Group, suggesting it is looking at boosting its presence in the US market. The agreement is a joint venture agreement with Authentic Brands Group and Simon Property Group.