Online shopping brand SHEIN has announced that it has chosen Dublin as the location for its new European headquarters. The company, which is based in Guangzhou, China, will also use the Dublin office as the hub for its IT operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Thirty new roles will be created as the fashion giant expands across Ireland. The announcement was welcomed by Irish Minister for Enterprise, Simon Coveney, who described it as a “vote of confidence” in Ireland’s ability to attract foreign investment.
The opening of the new headquarters follows the announcement that SHEIN will launch a pop-up store in Cork city centre later this month. The store will operate from May 13th to 17th and has fuelled criticism of the company’s sustainability and climate impacts. Last year, SHEIN’s pop-up store in Dublin attracted over 4,000 visitors per day.
SHEIN was valued at $100bn in April last year and has seen significant commercial success due to its popularity on social media sites. The company is known for its cheap clothing products, with garments available to buy online for as little as €2. Founded in 2008 by CEO Chris Xu, the company has since expanded with distribution hubs across Poland, Italy and the UAE.
However, the company has also faced accusations of contributing to the climate crisis due to its use of cheap synthetic fossil fuel fibres, toxic dyes, plastics and microplastics to make clothes. This has resulted in the company’s famously low prices. Additionally, the company has faced accusations of underpaying employees who work up to 18 hours per day.
Despite these accusations, the company says it has made monetary donations and donations-in-kind to various charities, including Irish charities such as the Marie Keating Organisation and The Society of St. Vincent De Paul.
Speaking on the opening of the new headquarters, Global Head of Government Relations, Leonard Lin said he was “delighted” to launch in Ireland, complimenting its “pro-business environment and great access to talent,” making it an excellent hub for companies. Michael Lohan, IDA chief executive said the arrival was a “welcome addition,” to Ireland’s IT sector, calling Dublin the “ideal location,” in terms of talent and resources.
SHEIN’s decision to locate its European headquarters in Dublin is a significant boost for Ireland’s economy, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has a long history of attracting foreign investment, with many multinational companies choosing to set up their European operations in Ireland. The country’s favourable tax regime and pro-business environment make it an attractive location for companies looking to expand into Europe.