Atlanta Socks, Seattle Hats, Macy's Goes Local from the New York Times covers Macy's efforts to increase sales by offering goods targeted to appeal to local tastes.
Macy's is able to do this because they've developed the data and analytical systems to understand and serve customers on a store level. Interesting quote from Macy's CMO on the role of data and analytics highlights this:
"... what makes this attempt at localization — known within the company as My Macy’s — different from running a local department store has been the systematic collection of information."
Another interesting quote is on their efforts to better understanding local customers: "Macy’s requires sales clerks and store managers to examine the local population almost like anthropologists...
According to the article, going local has been very successful for Macy's:
"While many national retailers continue to see sales declines in a sour economy, Macy’s says its first full year of “going local” has helped increase sales significantly and “lifted the entire Macy’s performance,” according to its chairman and chief executive, Terry J. Lundgren."
This article nicely illustrates the enabling role data and analytics are playing in the broader "new localism" trend.