The Vest Is Back: Walmart's New Dress Code

Employees aren't too happy about Walmart's new dress code. On its website, the company gives employees options for collared navy blue or white shirts, and khaki or black pants, capris, shirts, or skorts.

In several blog posts on Walmart's intranet, HR executive Barbara Simone, explained the dress code, including the Return of the Vest:

Walmart dress code intranet

Walmart also produced a video for employees, which has become unavailable to the public. 

Employees can post comments on the intranet, and several were leaked to Gawker:

"With all due respect to the company, this is more of a financial burden to our family since this is our only source of income with my wife and two kids. We can hardly afford to live on my income now with us having to pay for a new uniform (aside from the vest). It's silly. The uniform we have now works. Why change it?"

"Working conditions at my store are atrocious. There is little coverage in any dept. to provide anything close to decent customer service. ... For ten years I gave my all but my efforts and voice are ignored. My complaints as well as other associates' seem to not matter one bit. Our registers and other equipment are slow and unreliable. I do not see how bringing back the vests as if we were living in 1994 will change anything. There are real problems to solve in our stores."

Discussion Starters:

  • What's your view of the new policy? Why would Walmart implement this now?
  • Imagine that you're Barbara Simone. How would you respond to these employee comments on the intranet?