Macy's Ends Tmall Store in Second China Strategy Shift of 2018

(Bloomberg) -- For the second time this year, Macy’s Inc. is switching up its approach to China as it struggles to get its presence in the world’s most populous market right.

Macy’s is shuttering its online store on Tmall, the platform for China’s biggest e-commerce company, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Macy’s will now ship to Chinese consumers directly from its U.S. website.

“We decided to wind down our Chinese e-commerce only business and add more functionality to our flagship Macys.com site, which will now be able to service customers in China,” Macy’s spokeswoman Emily Goldberg said via email.

The move follows an announcement in May that Macy’s was ending a partnership with China’s Fung Retailing Ltd. and underscores how the stalwart of American malls has struggled to gain traction in the world’s most populous nation.

Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, said the Macy’s brand has less cachet in overseas markets, and the company failed to tailor its offerings to local tastes.

“Ultimately, this all comes down to the fact that Macy’s was not bringing anything unique or compelling to China,” Saunders said. “Macy’s was never really that serious about China. This was an opportunistic play designed to generate a bit of incremental revenue. As such, the offer was never properly optimized or invested in.”

Macy’s shares fell 0.2 percent to $32.37 on Thursday. The stock has risen 29 percent this year amid a rebound from a lengthy sales slump.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.