Shein plans 30 pop-up stores across EMEA following forced labour accusations

Shein has revealed plans to open 30 pop-up stores in the EMEA region weeks after the company saw US lawmakers call for a pause on its IPO over claims it is sourcing cotton tied to forced labour in China.

The Chinese online fashion retailer has also announced the opening of its EMEA headquarters in Dublin, which will serve as a hub for the companies IT operations in the region.

Earlier this month, a bipartisan group of US lawmakers called on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to halt Shein’s initial public offering until it resolves accusations of forced labour.

A number of reports, including a 2022 expose from Bloomberg, found that many of its garments contained cotton from China’s Xinjiang region – a controversial part of the country where the government has been accused of forced labour and internment of the Uyghur people.

Shein said that the pop-ups, the first of which will be opened in Cork this week, are an ‘integral part’ of its business model as they allow consumers to “experience products up close and engage with the brand”. The retailer says that a pop-up store which it opened in Dublin last year saw over 4,000 visitors per day.

The retailer said the new headquarters will create around 30 jobs in roles such as data analytics, with the company adding that the number of employees will expand as Shein grows and adds other roles such as graduate schemes.

Commenting on the news Leonard Lin, global head of government relations for Shein, said: “Our Dublin office opening marks an important milestone in SHEIN’s growth in EMEA – which is one of our most important markets. We look forward to contributing to the growth of the local economies and to supporting local communities.”

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