Macy’s big bet on digital expansion is about to be tested in a key geography. The retailer will launch a Chinese e-Retail site in 2017 to increase its digital presence in the world’s largest e-Commerce market. However, Macy’s has released no information on plans to open a physical store in China.
Macy’s announced the plan at an event in Shanghai last week. The retailer began selling online in China last November when it opened a storefront on Tmall Global, a shopping web site run by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The storefront has become one of the most popular retailers on the site, with more than 300,000 consumers to date using its features to learn about Macy’s products.
Macy’s is doing more than simply showcasing its wares to Chinese consumers. The retailer is increasingly connecting with young Chinese shoppers through online shows. A show during New York Fashion Week attracted approximately 100,000 Chinese viewers and generated approximately 150 million posts to Chinese social network Weibo, according to Macy’s.
Macy’s digital expansion comes at a time when its brick-and-mortar channel is facing strong headwinds. The retailer will close 100 stores early next year that represent approximately $1 billion in annual sales. The retailer hopes to retain some of those sales at nearby stores and online.