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 now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.