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Will international markets lure Macy’s to other countries?

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Feb. 10 2015, Updated 1:06 p.m. ET

International opportunities

The retail industry is increasingly looking for opportunities in international markets. Rising income levels and growing populations are driving the demand for consumer discretionary items such as apparel, accessories, footwear, and electronics.

The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLY) is an ETF that has 1.03% holdings in Macy’s Inc. (M), 0.57% in Kohl’s Corporation (KSS), 0.50% in Nordstrom, Inc. (JWN) and 0.51% in Staples, Inc. (SPLS) as of January 30, 2015.

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Developing markets

The 2014 Global Retail Development Index, published by management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, provides a list of developing countries that provide growth opportunities for the retail industry. According to the index, Chile, China, Uruguay, United Arab Emirates (or UAE), and Brazil are the top five contenders.

Macy’s is making its mark internationally

Macy’s recently made its move to international markets. In October 2014, Macy’s announced plans to open a Macy’s store and a Bloomingdale’s store in Abu Dhabi, UAE, in 2018. This will mark Macy’s first international store and the second for the Bloomingdale’s brand. The Macy’s store will span 205,000 square feet, and the Bloomingdale’s store will cover 230,000 square feet.

Macy’s will open the stores in collaboration with Al Tayer Group, which opened and currently operates Bloomingdale’s first international store in Dubai in 2010. Al Tayer Group represents international brands in the Middle East such as Alexander McQueen, Boucheron, Bottega Veneta, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, Emilio Pucci, Giorgio Armani, and Jimmy Choo.

Macy’s (M) also reaches international consumers through its websites macys.com and bloomingdales.com, which sell its products online in about 100 nations.

Macy’s peer Nordstrom, Inc. (JWN) opened its first international store in the Chinook Centre mall in Calgary, Alberta, in September 2014. Nordstrom plans to open five more stores in Canada over the next three years.

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