Shein taps ex-SoftBank exec as Latin America chairman to expand ties with regional suppliers

February 1, 2023 6:27 am

Chinese fast-fashion company Shein is set to appoint Marcelo Claure, formerly chief operating officer of SoftBank Group, as its Latin America chairman, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Claure, who owns the investment firm Claure Group, has also made a personal investment of about $100 million in Shein, according to the report.

Claure's join is also part of Shein's efforts to expand its ties with suppliers and partners in the region, with a primary focus on Brazil and Mexico.

"As a person who is passionate about Latin America and will be focused intently on investing there moving forward, this is a unique opportunity for me to contribute to the region together with Shein," said the investment industry veteran.

"In Latin America, countries like Mexico and Brazil are at a stage of development where nearshoring, with the help of Shein’s supply chain technology, can enable local supply chains to flourish," he said.

Shein is diversifying its supply chain away from China, where it was founded. According to a previous memo to investors viewed by WSJ, the company has started manufacturing in Turkey since midsummer, and has leased and operated warehouses in Poland to store merchandise and ship to customers in Western Europe.

Currently, the company's supply chain is largely rooted in southern China's Guangdong province, a major manufacturing center in the country, where it has a network of more than 3,000 suppliers.

With a business model that offers a large variety of clothing at ultra-low prices, tracking fast-changing fashion trends, Shein has quickly grown into one of the world's top online retailers.

Earlier this month, citing sources familiar with the matter, the Financial Times reported that Shein was in discussions to raise as much as $3 billion, a move that would reflect a fairly sober valuation of $64 billion, down more than a third from its April peak.