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India strong for Macy’s

International market of India proving strong in online sales for Macy’s

America's biggest mid-range department store, Macy's, is looking to India for international growth, reports Business Standard, India. Macy’s has been serving India through its website for the past two years. 

According to Macy's, it saw 29 per cent increase in walk-in Indian customers at its stores in the US, leading to 19 per cent growth in sales. India has moved up from being the 28th market in terms of in-store sales to 22nd in a short span of time and the sub-continent country is now among the top three focus markets for Macy's, thanks to rising online sales.

"We usually have eight focussed markets for e-commerce and tourism. India is now as powerful as the Chinese customers,” Keri Hanson, director, tourism and development at Macy's, told the Business Standard.

However, with the web and in-store market growing, the company does not have plans to open a store in India.

"Our first international store opens in 2018 in Abu Dhabi. I don't know if India is on the list right now," says Keri.

Macy's, however, is open for joint venture if a suitable partner comes along. The company already sells its products in rupees as opposed to dollars, if the website is accessed via a desktop from India.

Macy's has just started to venture out of the US market. The chain's first physical store will come up in Abu Dhabi in 2018. Macy's has also tested the waters in China with a tie-up with Alibaba-backed Tmall to open its first virtual store outside the US. 

"Before we entered China and did our partnership with Alibaba's Tmall, we tested if there was a marketplace for our brands, especially for customers who have not been to the US," she explains.

The tie-up means it has started to heavily market its products via the e-commerce website, which includes setting up regional warehouses.

"Unlike other European brands which have been in the market earlier, we don't have regional warehouses. We ship from the US. So, speed to market, speed to customer, all of those logistical pieces need to be worked on and we need to be very transparent with the customer," she says.

While there are no plans to open stores in India anytime soon, the focus will be to develop the mobile website to entice Indian customers.

"Some of the things we used were shipping incentives for those who haven't shopped with us before. If you don't have to pay shipping or some of the ancillary cost and we have a great sale online, it is often at par at what you can get locally.

"We want to get a sense of what is trending locally and to start providing some type of market customisation, not only in terms of currency but also sizing and specification,” Keri concludes.

Macy's has no plans for a marketing push in India and will rely on bloggers to attract customers to its website.

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