Insight Flash: Consumer Edge data reveals that while Shein customers already shop at Forever 21, there is room for more cross-shop penetration

Shein announced that the company is accepting in-person returns at Forever 21 stores, and with a return, customers are given a discount on their next Forever 21 purchase. We use Consumer Edge Transact data to understand where else Shein customers shop in the Fast Fashion subindustry to see if Forever 21 was the best partner and who else could benefit from such an arrangement.

Shein Cross-Shop within the Fast Fashion Subindustry

CE data shows that while the percentage of Shein shoppers who also shopped at Forever 21 has declined over the past 2 ½ years, from 8% to 3%, Forever 21 has consistently been one of the top two most shopped Fast Fashion brands, surpassed only by H&M at 5% cross-shopped. As customers get a discount on their next Forever 21 purchase after finalizing a Shein return in store, Forever 21 is likely expecting more Shein customers to frequent their brand.     

*Consumer Edge transaction data USA1 Cohort panel

Forever 21 Cross-Shop with the Fast Fashion Subindustry

Interestingly, Forever 21 shoppers are more likely to shop at Shein with 15% of Forever 21 shoppers at Shein last quarter in CE data. Shein was also the only company to see an increase in cross-shopping behavior, from 14% to 15%, between the past two quarters.  

*Consumer Edge transaction data USA1 Cohort panel

Shein Cross-Shop Across Apparel, Accessories, and Footwear Industry

Finally, it makes sense for Shein to partner with a company that shares a similar clientele but if this arrangement ends up being beneficial for Forever 21, other retailers might be interested in forging a similar relationship. Old Navy seems to be the obvious contender with ~12% of Shein shoppers also shopping at Old Navy on a quarterly basis.   

*Consumer Edge transaction data USA1 Cohort panel

By analyzing customer cross-shop behavior, we can rely on data rather than guesswork to inform new sales channels and key partnership opportunities. In the apparel, accessories, and footwear industries, Consumer Edge data provides robust insights for corporate brands and private investors alike.


Consumer Edge is the leading provider of alternative data for consumer spending behavior, and the only provider of global revenue signals. If you’d like to benefit from using CE Transact US, CE Vision, or other products for apparel, accessories, and footwear insights, retail data, and other industry data year-round to track trends like these, reach out to schedule a demo.

About the Authors

Katherine Bjorkman is the Director of Insights for the CEIC. Explore more of her insights here and follow her on LinkedIn.

Michael Gunther is the VP Head of Insights for the CEIC. Explore more of his insights here and follow him on LinkedIn.