Fast fashion retailer Shein becomes the most downloaded shopping app in the US

Yahoo Finance’s Dani Romero joins the live show to discuss how quickly fashion retailer Shein has become the most downloaded shopping app among US consumers.

Video transcript

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BRIAN CHUNG: A new report from UBS shows that Chinese fast fashion retailer Shein has become the most downloaded shopping app. Dani Romero from Yahoo Finance joins us for more. Dani, great to have you on the… first of all, in person. It’s good. It’s funny! Tell us a bit more about what UBS is saying. It is enormous. I mean, it’s probably because you can get a $2 t-shirt on Shein, then.

DANI ROMERO: You raised a very good point. Yeah, exactly, compared to all the other retailers like Zara, H&M, even Forever 21, yeah, Shein really does – it’s also the most searched retailer because consumers are looking for value for money, isn’t it not? They’re not going to spend $50 on a top when they can get the same top – at Shein.

So yes, you are absolutely right. As you said, UBS found that fast fashion – Chinese fast fashion retailer Shein is the most downloaded and searched app. But, you know, what’s also really interesting is that they’re really known for their cheap clothes, their beauty, their lifestyle too. But they don’t have stores. It’s not like you can come in and try…

BRIAN CHUNG: Try anything, yeah.

DANI ROMERO: Exactly, try anything. So it’s really – you sort of see the consumer behavior there, on the right, that people are really still shopping online in that regard. And TikTok is their main way to get those consumers. And it’s usually the Gen Z people who are really the ones driving that momentum for them. It was really strong.

BRIAN CHUNG: And obviously, I guess Gen Z doesn’t care too much about going to a brick-and-mortar store. I mean, I guess, I just want to know, have you ever shopped at Shein?

DANI ROMERO: I have. I have some stuff.

BRIAN CHUNG: How good is the stuff on Shein? Because I look at these… I look at the prices. I figure, I could have a $10 jacket from Shein. And I think to myself, first of all, I don’t know if it’s going to be okay. I don’t know if they will send me what I ordered. And then, is it really good quality?

DANI ROMERO: I mean, I think it’s… I mean, I think it’s for whatever now, when you think about it, right?

BRIAN CHUNG: True, just.

DANI ROMERO: Like, you could spend $50 at H&M or Zara, and it could be the same kind of quality you spent a little less. I’m just saying, more or less, right? But yeah, I mean, I guess the things I bought from Shien, I was very happy with. But obviously I’m not going to buy certain aspects like a bodysuit maybe from Shein. I think maybe a top, I would go more in that direction.

But the other thing that is also very interesting in this survey is the fact that TikTok is the biggest source of Shein. But if you compare that to Macy’s, for example, Macy’s isn’t really doing so well when it comes to TikTok.

BRIAN CHUNG: Yeah, I don’t know if people – Macy’s executives even know what TikTok is.

DANI ROMERO: Well, you said it. I did not say that. But, you know, according to this survey, they’ve increased their subscriber numbers — excuse me, Shein’s up 162% over the year compared to Macy’s, which is really down in that regard. So it’s really interesting to see that these, like I said, Gen Z really support and know this fast fashion as far as TikTok is concerned. But I’ll say one last thing, I wonder what that’s really going to mean going forward, right? Will Shein really dominate? It looks like it will.

BRIAN CHUNG: We will see.

Edwin S. Wolfe