Macy’s Hits Pause on Chinese Online Expansion Plans

Macy's Store

The race to capitalize on China’s growing e-commerce sphere just lost another contender — at least for now. Macy’s Inc. (NYSE:M) recently shuttered its online expansion plans for the world’s No. 2 economy, a company spokesman told the Wall Street Journal in a report published Sunday.

“While our company has interest in international markets over the long term, we have no current plans for an expanded presence in China,” Jim Sluzewski said to the Journal, adding that Macy’s is pausing its plans for online growth because the company is trying to learn more about Chinese consumers, not because of concerns about a slowdown in the Chinese economy.

By several accounts, e-commerce in China is booming. A 2012 forecast by Zia Daniell Widger of Forrester Research, cited by the English-language China Daily shortly after Macy’s announced its foray into China’s e-commerce market last year, said online sales in the country would hit $169 billion in 2012 and reach $356 billion in 2016. Figures by consulting firm Bain & Co. referenced in the Journal’s report put the figure at a more robust estimate of $539 billion by 2015.