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Reliance Retail to bring Chinese fashion giant Shein back to India

Two years after the app of Chinese fashion giant Shein was banned in India, Reliance Retail is all set to bring the brand back to the country through a strategic partnership, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The Ministry of Electronics and IT had banned Shein in 2020 – among many other Chinese apps – due to heightened tensions at the Galwan border between India and China.

The Wall Street Journal report also states that the Indian government has approved the partnership, which will include sourcing, manufacturing and retailing of Shein products.

According to Shein’s website, the primary source of Shein-based products is the US, India, Brazil, and Australia. Since Shein is facing a scrutiny over the sourcing of cotton in US, it is likely to source fabrics for its global as well as local manufacturing operations from small businesses in India. This will help the fast fashion brand diversify its supply chain beyond China, while tapping into India’s growing consumer market at the same time.

As per reports, the partnership will also culminate into offline stores apart from an online presence, possibly Reliance’s Ajio platform. A production hub in India to supply to the Middle East could also be in the pipeline.

IMAGES Group’s call to Reliance Retail elicited a “no comments” response for now.

Founded in 2012 in Nanjing, China, Shein relocated its global headquarters to China in 2021. The Chinese fashion and lifestyle e-retailer uses on-demand manufacturing technology to connect suppliers to its supply chain, reducing inventory waste and enabling it to deliver a variety of affordable products to customers around the world. The brand is available in over 150 countries.

Shein prides itself on leveraging industry-leading, on-demand production and digitally connecting the supplier ecosystem to ensure accurate forecasting, efficient allocation of raw materials and effective global logistics. The brand has been expanding its global footprint through manufacturing in Turkey and warehouses in Poland, as well as through a distribution centre in the US.

As per the Wall Street Journal, the latest funding round for the Chinese fast fashion behemoth puts the company at two-thirds of its $100 billion valuation from last year.

Reliance Retail, on the other hand, is a major player in India’s economy, operating more than 15,000 stores across India selling a range of products including fashion and groceries.

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