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Macy’s Launches Digital Marketplace, Further Expanding E-Commerce Potential

Macy’s has officially launched its new digital marketplace. First announced in November, the new digital marketplace on macys.com, offers customers a curated assortment of new brands, merchandise categories and products from third-party merchants and brand partners.

According to the New York-based department store chain, its new digital marketplace gives customers easy access to more than 20 product categories and 400 new brands. Some of these brands include L’Occitane, LG, Samsung and Teaspressa.

Macy’s said that it partnered with marketplace technology company Mirakl to create the platform, which provides third-party sellers the ability to integrate their products into Macy’s e-commerce architecture.

“After a year of intense work creating an exceptional experience for customers and sellers, we are thrilled to launch a curated marketplace on macys.com, expanding our digital assortment to new categories, brands and products that our customers will love,” Matt Baer, chief digital and customer officer at Macy’s, Inc., said in a statement. “Seamlessly integrated into Macy’s digital shopping experience, marketplace gives our customers access to an array of expertly curated products — from apparel and beauty to home improvement, toys, pet products and more.”

The move mark’s Macy’s next step in expanding its already growing digital business. In a call with investors in November, Macy’s CEO and chairman Jeffrey Gennette said the company’s digital business is on track to generate $10 billion in sales by 2023, excluding revenue expected from the new marketplace platform.

Gennette said the marketplace was the best way to address the demand Macy’s was seeing for different brands the retailer did not currently offer.

“We have a very successful digital business now,” Gennette said in the call. “And the marketplace announcement that we made today was the next natural step in our evolution as a digitally led omnichannel retailer.”

In the third quarter of 2021, digital penetration represented 33% of net sales at Macy’s, up 10-percentage points from 2019. Digital sales increased 19% year over year and grew 49% compared to 2019.

As Macy’s digital business soars, shareholders are pressuring the company to do more to capitalize on this growth. In October, Jana Partners LLC took a stake in Macy’s and sent a letter pressuring the retailer to split its online and store businesses to capitalize on an impressive digital growth in the last few quarters.

Saks Fifth Avenue’s parent company Hudson’s Bay Co. did this in March 2021 when it split the retailer’s website and stores into two separate businesses. According a report in Sourcing Journal, Macy’s Inc. recently hired the person behind this split, suggesting the potential for a similar move down the line.

This month, Macy’s shareholders NuOrion Advisors, LLC sent an open letter to the Macy’s board chairman asking for the formation of a “Digital Special Committee” to oversee specific proposals for its digital business. In the letter, shareholders said they want Macy’s to pursue investments from private equity firms for Macys.com and allow shoppers to use cryptocurrency to make payments.

The new marketplace platform represents the next step for Macy’s to bolster its digital business.

“We know that we can grow our digital business faster,” Gennette said. “We can generate more profitability. We can get more depth and breadth of assortment and really address new brands and emerging trends for a customer who looks to us to be able to do that.”

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