Uniqlo Sues Shein over Alleged Copy of its Popular 'Mary Poppins Bag'
Yuri Kageyama READ TIME: 2 MIN.
Uniqlo Co. has sued rival retailer Shein over a small shoulder bag the Japanese retailer said was an inferior and unlawful copy of its hit product touted as the "Mary Poppins bag."
The lawsuit demanded Shein stop selling its product that Uniqlo said looks too much like its Round Mini Shoulder Bag.
The Uniqlo bag is praised on TikTok and other social media as roomy but also light and compact. The Mary Poppins nickname refers to the 1964 musical starring Julie Andrews in which a nanny pulls just about anything from her magical carpet bag, including a hat stand.
Shein, founded in China but now based in Singapore, said it was looking into the allegations.
"Shein respects the intellectual property rights of others and takes all claims of infringement seriously," the company said Thursday in an email.
The lawsuit was filed in Tokyo District Court on Dec. 28 by Tokyo-based Fast Retailing Co., which operates Uniqlo stores.
Uniqlo said Thursday it's demanding damages of about 160 million yen ($1.1 million) in its lawsuit targeting the three companies that operate Shein, Roadget Business Pte, Fashion Choice Pte and Shein Japan Co.
Uniqlo said Shein's product was a copyright violation of inferior quality that undermined customer confidence in the Uniqlo brand.
Uniqlo's bag comes with inner pockets and is billed as durable and water-resistant. In Japan, it costs 1,500 yen, and in the U.S. $19.90, coming in various colors, including light blue and violet.
Uniqlo, which has nearly 2,500 stores in 26 global markets, is behind hit affordable casual clothing like HeatTech thermal underwear.
Shein reaches customers mainly through its app. The company says it uses digital technology to respond nimbly to customer tastes and avoid waste.