Mon. Mar 27th, 2023

Shein, one of the world’s largest fashion companies, is reportedly facing challenge from one of its home country upstarts. According to a report in Bloomberg, Temu, a shopping platform owned by Chinese e-commerce heavyweight Pinduoduo Holdings Inc, has set a lofty sales target for its North American business last month: report at least a single day of gross merchandise value that tops Shein’s between now and September 1, to mark the anniversary of its entry into the US market. The report quotes people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorised to speak publicly.
It is said to be the first step in Temu’s broader plans to dominate the online shopping landscape. PDD, which made successful inroads into the less-covered lower-tier segments of a Chinese market dominated by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Inc, is now hoping that the fledgling app will drive a longer-term overseas business.
Temu reportedly sees Shein as its biggest rival in the near-term, and wants to surpass its dominance within the next few years. However, in the longer run, Temu ultimately aims to take on global behemoths like and eBay Inc.

Temu’s growth is already surging. The app has been the most downloaded app on Apple’s US app store for much of the past few months, and has continued to hold a highly ranked position as one of the top free apps on Google Play since December 29, 2022. The company, as per Bloomberg report, achieved about $500 million GMV in the US during its first five months of operation. In January alone, sales were almost $200 million, the data show. The report quotes data analytics company YipitData. Temu launched in Canada, its second-largest market, in February this year.
Shein vs Temu: The numbers
According to a report in TechCrunch quoting Sensor Tower estimates, Temu has managed to achieve a total of 19 million lifetime installs across the App Store and Google Play, more than 18 million of which came from the US. In October, Temu was averaging around 43,000 daily installs in the US, the company said, while Shein averaged about 62,000. In November, Temu’s average daily installs grew to 185,000 while Shein’s climbed to 70,000, and last month, Temu averaged 187,000 installs while Shein saw about 62,000.
Shein dominates the US fast-fashion market, far surpassing rivals Zara and H&M, according to YipitData. The Financial Times reported last month that Shein predicts global GMV will grow to $80.6 billion in 2025 up 174% from last year. While both companies are said to be synonymous with cheap, easy-to-get products, Temu operates more like a marketplace than a self-run brand such as Shein. Temu does not handle design and production, instead hires suppliers to offer a list of products, which Temu selects from and then allows a store to open on its platform. After sellers send products to Temu’s warehouses in China, the company takes care of delivery, marketing and promotion, and after-sales services.

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Tanushree K

By Tanushree


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