Wal-Mart’s Quest To Be More Sophisticated

Uniforms at retail help define a brand. Last week I was at Hotel Monaco in Salt Lake City where the staff wears tie-dyed oxford cloth shirts. It’s easy for me to feel at home in such a place.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the world’s largest retailer is now looking to spiff up its outfits.

For decades, a humble blue smock or vest has been required dress for employees at Wal-Mart Stores, conveying the retailer’s working-class image and its modest roots in rural Bentonville, Ark.
But a fancier Wal-Mart, which is trying to attract upscale shoppers with 300-thread-count sheets, flat-screen televisions and nine-layer lasagna, calls for a fancier uniform.
So the company has begun quietly testing a new look for its 1.3 million workers in the United States: khaki pants and a navy blue polo shirt, according to employees briefed on the clothing plans.
Wal-Mart, long a symbol of dowdy, traditional fashions, is graduating to preppy.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.