A recent article in the Chicago Tribune called “Macy’s gets gold star for employee morale” discusses how the company’s “My Macy’s” strategy is helping to invigorate employees.

In early 2009, I gave the thumbs-up to My Macy’s strategy of localized merchandising. Here’s how Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren recently described the My Macy’s strategy:


“…we can adjust sizing, colors, fabric weights, items, categories and brands on a store-by-store basis. At holiday time, that means we have the dexterity in our organization to sell wine country Christmas ornaments in northern California, Elvis ornaments in Tennessee, and Our Lady of Guadalupe ornaments in areas with significant Hispanic populations… It also means we can have the right sweater weights in the right climate zones. And we can be selling larger pots and pans as gifts in Utah, where families are larger, and Scandinavian baking tools in Minnesota.”


It doesn’t take a rocket-scientist to know that different markets want different products.What I didn’t recognize at the time, though, was that this localized merchandising would change the dynamics of employee engagement. And it has — for the better.

Since individual stores have more say in their merchandising, store managers and local merchandising managers have more decisions to make. This gets them to solicit more feedback from employees and spend more time “on the floor.” The ultimate dynamic is to give employees a stronger feeling of ownership and connection with the company. This is another example of the employee experience virtuous cycle.

The bottom line: Get your employees more involved in the business.

This blog post was originally published by Temkin Group prior to its acquisition by Qualtrics in October 2018.