US retailer Macy's is to invest US$170m in a new direct-to-consumer distribution centre in Tulsa County, Oklahoma, to support omni-channel growth.

The company, which operates around 840 department stores across 45 states, said the investment will cover the latest technology in material handling equipment and warehouse management systems.

Construction of the 1.3m sq ft facility is due to begin in spring 2014, with operations starting in April 2015. First orders will ship in summer 2015.

When fully operational, the Tulsa distribution centre is expected to employ around 1,500 full- and part-time workers year-round.

Another 1,000 or more temporary seasonal staff will be hired each year to handle a significantly higher level of online orders from customers during the holiday shopping season. Between 350 and 500 construction jobs are expected as the facility is built.

Direct-to-customer orders from Macy's online store, its app and bricks-and-mortar stores are handled by the retailer's distribution centres in Goodyear, Arizona; Portland, Tennessee; and Martinsburg, West Virginia, as well as by fulfilment functions at 500 Macy's stores.

Direct-to-customer orders from Bloomingdales.com, its app and stores are handled primarily by a fulfilment centre in Cheshire, Connecticut, as well as all 37 Bloomingdale's stores.

"The rapid growth of Macy's direct-to-customer shipments, rooted in our omni-channel approach to business, requires us to continue to strategically add fulfilment capacity so our customers can receive their orders quickly and efficiently," said chairman, president and CEO Terry Lundgren.

Customers, he added, are shopping whenever and however they prefer - via stores, desktops and mobile devices, and the company will continue to invest to meet consumer demand.

"Our new Tulsa County facility will represent another significant expansion of our shipping capacity, particularly to customers in central and southern regions of the United States," Lundgren noted.