Macy's Inc. (>> Macy's, Inc.) invested $15 million in the China online retail company VIPStore Co. and agreed to sell merchandise through VIPStore's luxury retail site, Omei.com.
Macy's now holds a minority stake in VIPStore, along with other venture capital providers, including Intel Corp.'s (>> Intel Corporation) Intel Capital.
The department-store operator expects to launch the Macy's section on Omei in spring 2013 with sales of I.N.C. women's and men's fashions. It plans to roll out other private brands in the following seasons.
Macys.com had launched online China sales 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, which also operates the high-end Bloomingdale's chain, has been outperforming its mid-tier rivals Kohl's Corp. (>> Kohl's Corporation) and J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) with strategies like tailoring merchandise to local tastes and making in-store and online selling easier. The company reported earlier this month its fiscal first-quarter earnings rose 38% on increased same-store sales and flat overhead costs while sales rose 4.4%.
Shares closed Tuesday at $36.47 and were inactive premarket. The stock is up 13% so far this year.
-By Melodie Warner, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2283; firstname.lastname@example.org