Shein has appointed Gemma Dunne, the former procurement supervisor of PrettyLittleThing, as its first-ever chief merchandise officer. Dunne’s role will involve spearheading the development of a new Shein brand influenced by trends in the UK market, as reported by Drapers. The inaugural collection is scheduled for a global online launch in January 2024.
Following a decade at PrettyLittleThing, Dunne brings a wealth of experience to Shein, having held various positions within the procurement department. Her journey began as a senior buyer in 2013, progressed to buying manager in 2018, advanced to head of buying in 2020, and culminated in her appointment as buying director in 2021.
Dunne expressed her excitement about coming on board at Shein, highlighting the company’s leadership in the fashion e-commerce sector. She is confident that the establishment of a UK product team will enable Shein to concentrate on trend projection and localized product development specifically for the UK, European, and US markets, which in turn will further enhance Shein’s presence in these regions. She emphasized the necessity of adapting to evolving industry demands to stay pertinent and advance on both an individual and organizational level.
Shein’s selection of Dunne aligns with the impressive performance of its UK operations. In the 16-month period ending on December 31, 2022, it achieved a pre-tax profit of £12.2 million, with sales surpassing £1 billion. Shein has been bolstering its fashion credentials through the acquisition of Missguided and a collaboration on a new clothing line with Forever 21.
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