Macy's fully exits China after closing its last online shop

Macy's was once a top online retailer that sold imported products to consumers in China, but will now exit the Chinese market entirely.
Written by Cyrus Lee, Contributor
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

American retail giant Macy's has fully retreated from China after it announced plans to close down its online retail store on Alibaba's Tmall marketplace, removing the last of its business presence within the country.

The online store will no longer be receiving orders from December 3 onwards, and will stop all services from December 31. Earlier orders will not be affected, Macy's said in a statement on its Tmall Global platform -- one of the most popular online business-to-business marketplaces owned by Alibaba.

"We sincerely thank you for your support and love of Macy's, and we will continue to provide services to you through the American website Macys.com," the US retailer said in the statement.

The closure of its official Tmall Global store marks the complete retreat of Macy's in China, which follows from its earlier decisions of shutting down its direct-sale store in Shanghai in 2015 and taking offline its official Macy's Chinese online website on June 9, 2018, according to a Sina news report.

Macy's was once one of the most popular online shops on Tmall Global -- providing Chinese consumers with imported products -- due to an exclusive partnership between Macy's and Alibaba in 2015.

Earlier reports indicated that it only took Macy's Tmall store 5 minutes on November 11, 2016 -- the Singles' Day online shopping extravaganza in China -- to break the sales figures that the online shop had achieved during Singles' Day in 2015.

During the "Black Friday" promotion in 2016, Macy's claimed the number 3 position among all the merchandisers across Tmall Global.

The shutdown of Macy's Tmall Global store indicates that the retailer has failed to realise its business ambition of long-term success in the Chinese market.

In an interview in September 2016, Macy's China president Dustin Jones said that "Macy's will not leave China, and we will become Chinese Macy's," said the Sina report.

Macy's appears to have shifted its resources to the US, announcing in May that it experienced double-digit growth in its digital business, as well as the appointment of a new CTO in June.

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