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Macy’s makes international moves


Two massive Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores are planned to open in the United Arab Emirates capital city of Abu Dhabi in what could be the first of other international moves for the department store operator.

Macy’s is already an international retailer thanks to its e-commerce presences, however the 205,000-sq.-ft. Macy’s store in Abu Dhabi will be its first international location while the 230,000-sq.-ft. Bloomingdale’s store will be the second for that banner. Both stores will occupy four levels and serve as anchors at Al Maryah Central, a retail development described as a super-regional shopping destination located in Abu Dhabi, a city of nearly one million residents. The stores are slated to open in 2018, according to Macy’s.

To open the new units, Macy’s formed a strategic partnership with Al Tayer Group LLC, a leading UAE-based company with diversified businesses that brought Bloomingdale’s to Dubai in 2010. The Al Maryah Central project will be located on Al Maryah Island, a project being developed by Gulf Related, a joint venture between Related Companies and Gulf Capital. The 3.1-million-sq.-ft. mixed-use development will include retail, cafés and restaurants, extensive entertainment options, a cinema, health club, luxury hotel and residential towers.

According to Macy’s, the stores will offer a merchandise assortment, ambience and customer service similar to each brand's shopping experience in the United States, while also being sensitive to local preferences and customers. The locations will be operated by Al Tayer Group under license agreements with Macy's.

"As a spectacular new world-class shopping destination, Al Maryah Central provides an outstanding opportunity to introduce Macy's to customers who live and work in the booming UAE market, as well as to visitors who come from around the world for events, business and holidays," said Terry Lundgren, Macy's chairman CEO. "Macy's and Bloomingdale's already are well known globally. They are destinations for international tourists to the United States and play an important role in popular culture domestically and globally.”

Lundgren said Macy is continuing to study various international markets to better understand how customers worldwide shop in stores, online and via mobile. and have been selling online in about 100 nations since 2011 so the retailers enjoy global brand awareness.

“We are especially interested in the omnichannel dynamics of worldwide markets, and the role that physical stores play in that equation,” Lundgren said. “While we continue to evaluate store development opportunities around the world, we are committing now to take advantage of this unique opportunity in Abu Dhabi with two partners who we know very well, Al Tayer Group and Gulf Related, with the development of Al Maryah Central.”

The Bloomingdale's location that opened in Dubai in 2010 has been a standout success for the company, according to Tony Spring, chairman and CEO of Bloomingdale's.

"Customers in the UAE have come to recognize Bloomingdale's for the high quality of designers and luxury goods we sell in an attentive high-service environment. We take great pride in making Bloomingdale's like no other store in the world. Al Tayer Group has been a tremendous partner that shares Bloomingdale's high standards,” Spring said.

According to Al Tayer CEO Khalid Al Tayer, the new Macy’s location will have strong appeal in the Middle East.

“Both Macy's and Bloomingdale's have entrenched themselves as market leaders in department store retailing in the U.S., and we look forward to delivering the same unrivalled shopping experience to customers in Abu Dhabi," Tayer said.

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