Beyond the pop-ups, those stores that are in one location for several days and then disappear from the place as if it were a traveling circus, Shein's business model is one hundred percent digital, an e-commerce beast. She doesn't have physical stores and doesn't seem like she wants to either. She is a pure e-tailer.
But something unexpected has come up. In Mexico, unauthorized physical stores of this brand have appeared that are dedicated to buying clothes on this Chinese website and then reselling it, explains Professor Pablo Foncillas. The model is to buy large volumes of clothes and then sell them in their physical boutiques.
"But it is important to underline this fact. They are not pop-ups of the brand nor do they have any relationship with Shein beyond the fact that the clothes they sell are the same. They are only dedicated to reselling their clothes," insists the researcher.
What does this hide? Mexico is a country with good internet penetration, but little strength in online shopping. Low trust, moderate banking, the use of cash and logistics management weigh. "Due to these factors, physical sales prevail over online sales to a greater extent than in other countries," says Foncillas.
Is the relationship between the physical store and the internet changing? The answer, in the professor's conclusion.