Macy's Inc. (NYSE: M), the owner of its namesake and Bloomingdale's department stores, said Wednesday it will start selling some of the chain's private label merchandise directly to consumers in China next spring through a deal with a Chinese online retailer.
Macy's said it had invested $15 million in VIPStore Co., which operates the luxury retail site Omei.com.
The Cincinnati-based company said it will have its own section on the site, where it will start selling I.N.C. women's and men's fashions in the spring of 2013. Other Macy's private brands are planned to roll out in the following seasons.
Macys.com first started selling online in China and more than 100 other nations in 2011 through a collaboration with FiftyOne, an international e-commerce provider.
Orders placed through Omei will be filled through that company's facilities in China, while orders placed on Macys.com will still be fulfilled through the U.S.
Macy's Chief Executive Officer Terry Lundgren said in a statement that the partnership will help Macy's gain experience in the fast-growing Chinese market, and that he continues to believe there is significant long-term opportunity internationally for both Macy's and Bloomingdale's.
Macy's has been a standout among its peers Kohl's Corporation (NYSE: KSS) and J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSEL JCP) throughout the economic recovery.
Macy's reported earlier this month its first-quarter profit rose a better-than-expected 38 percent on increased same-store sales and flat overhead costs while sales rose 4.4 percent.
Shares of Macy's Inc. (NYSE: M) fell 1.40 percent, or 51 cents, to trade at $35.96 apiece in Wednesday's midday trading. Shares of Kohl's Corporation (NYSE: KSS) slipped 0.78 percent, or 38 cents, to $48.28, while shares of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSEL JCP) edged up 0.58 percent, or 15 cents, to $26.62.