Walmart employees of the U.S. kick back: that dress code is about to get a little more relaxed.
Starting last week, employees in some of Walmart’s are now permitted more flexibility in the clothes they wear. Historically, Walmart’s 1.5 million employees were required to wear a blue or white collared shirt, black or khaki pants, and close-toed shoes.
In 2015, this uniform was loosened slightly following employee backlash: khaki-colored denim became acceptable for all employees, and those working in the garden department were permitted to wear t-shirts. Those doing physical labor in the back of the store got the all-clear to wear jeans.
Now, the employees in participating test stores will be allowed to wear shirts of any solid color, as well as blue jeans and even jeggings. However, visible facial tattoos will be forbidden for employees hired after April 14, and leather, prints, distressed materials, patches, white stitching, bedazzled clothing, yoga pants, sandals, and Crocs are off-limits. Bloomberg suggests that the test will help determine whether “more relaxed standards” could help the retailer attract and retain staff.
Walmart, which employs one in 10 retail workers in the U.S. and has close to 5,000 stores, has long suffered criticism for its labor policies. With increased competition from other retailers, Walmart has taken steps to be perceived as more employee-friendly of late. The retailer announced an increase to its starting hourly wage at the start of this year, up to $11 from $9. It has also sought to increase employee bonuses, expand parental-leave policies, and add an adoption benefit.