Walmart is making a massive change that employees have been demanding for years

WalmartWalmart employees can now wear jeans.
  • Walmart employees can now wear jeans, which were previously prohibited, and shirts of any colour or pattern.
  • The retailer announced the changes on Wednesday, calling its former dress code “outdated.”
  • Employees were previously barred from wearing blue denim, and shirt colours were restricted to blue or white.
  • The company faced backlash four years ago when it enforced a new dress code, but it later relaxed those restrictions.

Walmart is updating its dress code to allow employees to wear jeans, which were previously prohibited, and shirts of any colour or pattern.

The retailer announced the changes Wednesday at its annual shareholders’ meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Prior to the changes, employees were barred from wearing blue denim, and shirt colours were restricted to blue or white.

“It’s an exciting day as we say goodbye to our outdated dress code,” Walmart vice president Karisa Sprague wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. “This is a big deal.”

Here are the primary changes, as written by Sprague:

  1. All associates can now wear any colour denim – yes, jeans!
  2. Shirts of any colour or pattern are now allowed – no more requisite blue, unless it’s your favourite colour!
  3. Management can join hourly associates in wearing sneakers. This one speaks to me. I remember what it was like having to wear dress shoes in the stores and walking 8 to 10 miles a day while on the job. Oof!

The new dress code will go into effect this month at all of Walmart’s 4,700 stores in the United States. The company had previously tested a more relaxed dress code in some stores before announcing the company-wide changes.

Sprague said the changes are intended to make employees feel more confident.

“When you can use almost your entire closet to get dressed and express your own style, you’re more engaged and feel inspired to go out and meet people,” she wrote. “You feel included and more confident – and that confidence rubs off on others.”

The company faced backlash four years ago when it enforced a new dress code requiring white or navy collared shirts with khaki or black pants, close-toed shoes, and an updated royal-blue Walmart-branded vest.

Walmart later loosened the requirements to allow employees to wear black or khaki-coloured denim, as well as enable those working in the back of the store and doing more physical labour, like unloading trucks, to wear blue jeans.

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