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Sears To Dress Store Employees

June 16, 2003

By George Anderson

Sometime between now and September, Sears will begin requiring its store sales staff to wear solid black or white tops with black or tan pants, according to a report by Crain's Chicago Business.

The retailer plans to spend up to $5 million outfitting 150,000 associates in its 870 stores across the country. Sears will provide full-timers employed as of May 1 with three black shirts manufactured by Lands' End. Part-timers will receive two shirts.

Employees hired after May 1 will be required to supply their own clothes conforming to Sear's dress code.

According to Crain's, "Sears is banking on the new, understated look to bolster its two-year effort to modernize its stores, polish the image of its sales staff and help shoppers locate sales clerks more easily."

Jim Neal of Kurt Salmon Associates said, "Getting people into something that approaches a uniform upgrades the image of the employee and the store. There are only so many things that (store) management can spend time coaching employees on. If you can simplify the task of how to dress, they can focus on other things."

Moderator's Comment: What are your thoughts on Sears developing a uniform standard for clothing for its store associates?

Sears decision to create a uniform look for its store workforce is right out of the mass merchandiser's handbook. Is that what it wants to be when it grows up? [George Anderson - Moderator]

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