Week in Review: Is an Exclusive Tmall Deal a Good Move for Macy’s?

Macy’s is heading East… to China. The department store retailer has formed a joint venture with Fung Retailing Limited and will have its own online store on Alibaba’s Tmall Global platform.

The joint venture, which is 65% owned by Macy’s and 35% owned by Fung Retailing, will start with an ecommerce pilot in late 2015. For Macy’s, the joint venture is expected to develop significant new learnings on customer preferences and buying patterns within China.

Under terms of the exclusive agreement with Alibaba, Macy’s will be allowed to sell on its own .cn site, but will only be allowed to sell in Alibaba-owned marketplaces in China.

Alibaba’s partnership with Macy’s comes off the heels of July announcements of similar exclusive deals with consumer goods company Unilever and NBA star Kobe Bryant.

While these exclusive deals are all great news for Alibaba, are exclusive deals a wise choice for the brands who agreed to them? If brand exposure is the name of the marketplace game, then conventional wisdom says brands want to spread their exposure across the marketplace landscape. Several U.S. retailers have told Multichannel Merchant that participating in lesser-known U.S. marketplaces such as Sears, Walmart, Newegg, Best Buy, Staples, and Rakuten is just important to their brand and sales strategy as it is to sell on eBay and Amazon.

Sure, Tmall has a 50% share of the Chinese marketplace, but JD.com, which has a 25% share, is making a push for U.S. brands. And what if new competition sprouts up and becomes an immediate competitor in the marketplace, like Jet.com just did in the U.S.?

Just a little food for thought…

Here’s a look at this weeks’ news, commentary and events that shaped the direct-to-customer world… and more.


share-this-icon-75X75GameStop announced the winners of its #SummerAtGameStop: a five-week social engagement and contest series aimed at gamers sharing their personal stories on how video gaming brings fans together to create unique friendships and lifelong relationships… Startup footwear brand Inkkas has announced the launch of its first ecommerce crowdfunding campaign… Target was punked by a fake customer service representative on Facebook


Add-To-Cart-Icon-75X75Ian Ziering is now an ecommerce seller of chainsaws… OK, not really, Chainsaw is a seller of men’s and young men’s apparel and accessories Magento has launched the Magento B2B Program as it continues to expand its investment in the B2B space … A link controversy threatens to shoot down marketplace startup Jet.comWall Street Journal reports that dozens of the nation’s largest retailers complained to Jet after discovering it had placed links to their sites without permission, promising its own members cash back for making purchases after clicking the links… XpressBuy announced buy button integration with the Demandware, IBM WebSphere Commerce, Shopify and Magento platforms… Here’s how omnichannel retailers are using the mobile channel to win impulse buyers… Speaking of mobile, results of MCM Outlook 2015 show that ecommerce retailers are getting more mobile savvy… Afraid of fraud? Check out these 7 keys for a successful compliance management strategy… Redesigning with responsive design? Here’s 4 things you need to know

Shipping and delivery

shipping-delivery-75X75Google has been quietly testing its drone program for the past year, skirting FAA requirements with a little help from their friends at NASA. … FedEx said it’s not worried about an investigation into its planned acquisition of TNT Express by EU antitrust regulators, fully expecting it to sail through – as didn’t happen with UPS a couple years ago… Amazon is opening its first distribution center in Illinois…


global-ecommerce-icon-75X75SKECHERS has launched a new subsidiary in Latin America… Newegg has started a Canadian global selling program… New York-based hedge fund Tiger Global has led a $30 million investment round in GreyOrange, an Indian startup that uses robotics to automate ecommerce and logistics processes… A new study shows the key attributes of high-performing cross-border ecommerce sites…

Mergers and Acquisitions

mergers-and-acquisitions-75X75Staples, Inc. has received clearance from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for the acquisition of Office Depot. Staples continues to seek clearance from regulatory agencies in the United States, the European Union and Canada… Home goods superstore Bed Bath & Beyond has acquired Of a Kind


financials-icon-75X75Macy’s says its sales are down 2.6%, but CEO Terry Lundgren is optimistic… Wayfair’s direct retail revenue, consisting of sales generated primarily through the sites of Wayfair’s five brands, increased to $440.3 million, up 80.8% year over year… Lenovo Group reported declines in its global PC and tablet markets and slowing growth and increasing competition in China in smartphones…CafePress reported net revenues of $21.8 million, compared to $29.1 million in 2014… Nordstrom reported a 20% increase in its net sales for its online business… JCPenney same-store sales rose 4.1%… Ecommerce marketplace startup Jet.com is looking for new investors for a Series B funding round that if it materializes would put the company’s valuation at $2 billion or more.

… And more

newsSamsung’s mobile payment service, Samsung Pay, will launch in Korea on August 20 and in the U.S. on September 28. Predictix has named Kevin Sterneckert as executive vice president of marketing. The former Gartner analyst had been Chief Marketing Officer of OrderDynamics… NASA is helping Google get its drone testing off the ground…

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