Macy’s, Inc. Associate Well-Being & Disease Prevention

macys-logo Company Background

Macy’s, Inc. is one of the nation’s premier retailers with 2015 sales of more than $27 billion. They operate 850 stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico under the names of Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Bloomingdale’s Outlet, Bluemercury, as well as the, and websites. With 165,000 associates throughout the United States, Macy’s, Inc. recognizes that their greatest strength lies in the skill, judgement and talent of their diverse workforce. Therefore, their priority is in attracting, retaining and growing the most talented people in the retail industry.

Macy’s, Inc. knows their associates work their best when they feel their best, and are invested in helping their teams feel their best every day. Good health begins with knowledge, making smart choices, and practicing preventive care. Macy’s, Inc. offers the Live Healthy program to help associates be as healthy as possible. At Macy’s and Bloomingdales locations across the country, associates are encouraged to Live Healthy every day. We recognizing that metabolic syndrome can lead to a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes which can drastically influence an associates health and wellbeing. Macy’s, Inc. decided to look at programs that could help encourage healthy behaviors. For example, Know Your Numbers promotes health awareness through a biometric screening and health assessment. Other opportunities that can be accessed at no cost to associates include health coaches, nurse advisors, and chronic condition support programs. More recently, the Naturally Slim program was launched.

Macy’s, Inc. is Dedicated to Associate Well-Being & Disease Prevention

Naturally Slim is a behavioral program that teaches participants when and how to eat to help them lose weight and improve their overall health. The program is online so regardless of the physical location or density of workplace locations, it works for reaching associates. It includes learning videos, coaching quizzes, tracking tools, motivational feedback and more. Most importantly, the program is based on the learnings from the most effective clinical weight loss programs which focus on behavioral principles like self-monitoring, problem solving and contingency management. Additionally, with a focus on physical activity along with one full year of intervention and support, the Naturally Slim program helps ensure long-term weight loss maintenance.

To prove its success, Naturally Slim evaluates the program’s effectiveness through pre and post biometric screenings to show Metabolic Syndrome reduction. A person must have three (3) or more of these five (5) risk factors, occurring together, to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome:

Central ObesityWaist > 40 inchesWaist > 35 inches
Fasting triglycerides> 150 mg/dL> 150 mg/dL
Low HDL-C< 40 mg/dL< 50 mg/dL
Blood Pressure> 130/85> 130/85
Fasting glucose> 110 mg/dL> 110 mg/dl

Currently, 34 % of American adults have metabolic syndrome. A person diagnosed with metabolic syndrome has two times the risk for heart attack or stroke, and five times the risk for developing diabetes. Individuals with metabolic syndrome average two times as much per member per year in medical costs than an individual without metabolic syndrome.

In 2014, Macy’s, Inc. piloted the Naturally Slim program to 400 associates to evaluate its effectiveness for their diverse and geographically-dispersed workforce. The pilot showed a 54% reduction in the metabolic factors that significantly increase the risk of heart disease and strokes as well as other chronic lifestyle conditions like type-2 diabetes. In 2015 the program was rolled out nationwide to the self-insured population. The program has seen some incredible results.

  • To date, almost 3,000 associates have participated in the program. Each participant loses 9 pounds on average after the conclusion of the ten week program.
  • Associates saw a reduction in the metabolic risk factors that lead to heart disease and strokes as well as other chronic lifestyle conditions like diabetes.
    • Blood Pressure improved for 58% of participants
    • Blood Glucose improved for 46% of participants
    • Triglycerides improved for 60% of participants
    • HDL improved for 57% of participants
  • Macy’s looked at the costs of associates with metabolic syndrome and those without, which showed a $2,867 allowed amount difference per member per year.
  • 44% of individuals that started with Metabolic Syndrome have reversed their condition after the completion of the 10 week program, thus saving $1,046,728 in claims costs.

Even more important than the averages were the individual stories heard from associates about how the Naturally Slim program changed their life.

  • “People are noticing that “something’s different!” I’m more comfortable, my clothes fit better, my skin is clearer. Week 9 now. 84% to goal #1. Looking so forward to NS Alumni membership. I really appreciate my employer sponsoring me.”
  • “I feel much better now that I have lost 8 pounds so far. I feel more confident and healthier. My clothes fit better and I now have a real waist. I have received many compliments about my weight and questions about how I keep my weight so under control. I tell them that naturally slim weight loss program works because it is a life style change not a diet.”
  • “This is the first weight loss program that truly helped me change my behavior. I feel that I have changed my behavior permanently and believe I will keep off these pounds for good!”

The Naturally Slim program is unique, because it not only teaches associates about healthy eating patterns, it also teaches associates when and how to eat. This equips associates with the necessary behavioral skills to not only lose weight but to maintain a healthy weight over time.

Macy’s, Inc. used a unique approach to communicate the benefits and appeal to their associate population. They asked participants from the pilot if they wanted to share their story and share they did. Macy’s, Inc. and Naturally Slim mailed participants cameras so they could record themselves sharing how the program had changed their lives. The videos were then compiled and edited into one testimonial video that Macy’s, Inc. shared with their associate population. To see the video, click here.


The video was very effective and more than 1,000 associates signed up for the 2015 class. And, the results were consistent with the pilot program with significant improvement in all the major heart disease risk factors. In fact, 44% of participants with Metabolic Syndrome completely reversed their condition