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Shein partners with Forever 21 in fast-fashion deal that will expand reach of both companies

<i>Shannon Stapleton/Reuters</i><br/>People walk by the clothing retailer Forever 21 in New York City
Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
People walk by the clothing retailer Forever 21 in New York City

By Eva Rothenberg, CNN

New York (CNN) — Fast fashion e-tailer Shein may be coming to a mall near you.

Forever 21’s parent company Sparc Group announced on Thursday that it will partner with the online shopping giant in a deal that would see Sparc become a minority shareholder in Shein. In turn, Shein would get a one-third stake in Sparc.

Sparc is a partnership between retail real estate company Simon Group and Authentic Brands Group, whose portfolio includes brands like Brooks Brothers and Nine West.

The move is expected to broaden the reach of both players. Shein’s e-commerce base extends beyond 150 countries, and it has more than 250 million followers on social media platforms. The deal will “provide Sparc Group a platform to further grow its brands,” Sparc said in a news release.

“By working together, we will provide even more innovative and trendsetting products to fashion enthusiasts around the world,” said Sparc’s CEO Marc Miller.

In return, Shein is expected to sell its merchandise out of brick-and-mortar locations, particularly Forever 21, which has a young customer base similar to Shein’s. Both are fast fashion brands, meaning they mass-produce cheap items that are often used and discarded at a rapid pace as consumers strive to keep up with the latest trends. The fast-fashion business model has been criticized for its negative impact on the environment.

“The powerful combination of Simon’s leadership in physical retail, Authentic’s brand development expertise, and Shein’s on-demand model will help us drive scalable growth and together make fashion more accessible to all,” Donald Tang, Shein’s executive chairman, said in a news release.

Financial details of the partnership were not disclosed.

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