Department store chain Macy’s has announced it will expand its online order fulfilment centre near Portland, Tennessee, to accommodate continued online sales growth.

The 600,000 sq ft facility opened in spring 2007. The expansion will add 374,000 sq ft. Construction is expected to begin this autumn so that the expanded facility can be operational in autumn 2011.

“Online sales at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have grown rapidly by 19.6% in 2009, followed by another 31% in the first half of 2010,” said Macy’s chief administrative officer Tom Cole.

“It is important that our systems and support facilities continue to develop so we can drive growth in the online business and serve customers effectively.”

The Portland fulfilment centre currently employs about 570 year-round staff. The expansion is expected to require a further 250 full and part-time staff when it opens in 2011.