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Thu 30 Jun 2011 10:06 AM

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US retailer Macy's eyes Arab online shoppers

Luxury store signs shipping deal to allow goods to be exported to 91 countries, including Middle East

US retailer Macy's eyes Arab online shoppers
(Bloomberg Images)
US retailer Macy's eyes Arab online shoppers
Macy’s, which set up its first Bloomingdales store outside the US in Dubai in 2010, has launched an online version of its store (ITP Images)

Arab fans of US luxury store Macy’s will now be able to order goods direct from the store following a deal signed by the retailer with an overseas shipment firm.

The agreement will allows Macy's to serve 91 countries worldwide, including most in the Middle East.

Macy’s, which set up its first Bloomingdale's store outside the US in Dubai in 2010, has launched an online version of its store, which has shipping services which will cater to overseas customers 91 countries worldwide, including Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE.

Customers to macys.com will be able to buy apparel for him, her and the kids, as well as jewellery, home products and more as part of the shipping deal with the FiftyOne shipping agency.

“International shipping will enable Macy’s to build upon its existing customer base beyond the United States by exposing our product offerings abroad,” said Kent Anderson, president of macys.com. “In 2010, non-US based shoppers accounted for 36 million visits to macys.com,” he added.

Over 150 years old, the US retailer has been developing its expansion overseas, which saw it set up its first Bloomingdale's store outside the US in Dubai in February 2010.

Online retail has seen a surge in the Middle East in recent years and earlier this year a MasterCard survey found the number of people using the internet to make purchases in the UAE rose to 42 percent last year.

It also revealed that online shopping in the UAE is led by the 25-44 age group, though the 35-44s purchased more items, with more frequency, than others.

Women are increasingly turning to the internet to shop, with 40 percent of respondents saying they bought online in 2010, compared to 33 percent in 2011.

“We are seeing more UAE consumers go online for lifestyle purchases as well as day-to-day household items,” said Eyad Al Kourdi, UAE country manager for MasterCard.

“This trend in consumer behavior shows that today’s tech savvy shoppers are diversifying not only what they buy, but how and where.”

Twenty percent of those polled in the UAE said they used mobile devices to online shop, a growing trend across the region.

Leading the purchases in the UAE were airline tickets, with 74 percent of respondents buying them online, followed by hotel bookings at 66 percent.

Some 32 percent of those polled bought home appliances and electronic products online, while 34 percent included clothing and accessories in their retail buys.

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