NEW YORK (AP) -- Macy's Inc. said Wednesday that it acquired a stake in the operator of a Chinese online retailer, which will start selling some of the department store chain's private label merchandise next spring.
Macy's said it had invested $15 million in VIPStore Co., which operates omei.com, a newly established online retailer in China. The company said it will have its own section on the site, where it will start selling I.N.C. women's and men's fashions in the spring of 2013.
VIPStore also operates jiapin.com, a site that hosts flash sales which are only available for a limited time.
Macy's CEO Terry J. Lundgren said in a release that the partnership will let the company gain expertise in the rapidly growing Chinese market.
Although Macy's is a well-known brand in China, he said the company still has "a great deal to learn about the shopping patterns and merchandise preferences of consumers" in China.
Chinese consumers can already buy Macy's merchandise through Macys.com. Those orders are filled through the United States. Orders placed through omei.com will be filled through that company's local facilities.
Shares of Cincinnati-based Macy's slipped 25 cents to $36.22 in morning trading Wednesday. They have fallen 14 percent since hitting a 52-week high of $42.17 earlier this month.