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October 23, 2006
Wal-Mart Tests New Dress Code

Wal-Mart says it is expanding a test of a new dress code to stores in the Northeast and Southeast.

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The new dress code includes a dark blue polo-style or dress shirts and khaki slacks or skirts.  The company has tested the new look in about 160 stores throughout the country, including 86 stores in Georgia and Texas, where it was first introduced earlier this year.

The company says initial feedback from employees has been positive.

"Our associates in the test stores have told us they really prefer the new look because it reflects more pride and makes them feel like part of a team, and customers find it more contemporary and more professional," says Pat Curran, executive vice president for Wal-Mart stores in the United States. "As a matter of fact, 95 percent of the associates in our test stores said they wanted to continue the new dress code and encouraged us to take this new look to additional stores."

The company says it will provide each of its U.S. store employees with two polo-style shirts and reimburse associates for one pair of pants or skirt.  The company says it is also creating a website where associates can purchase additional items at cost (shirts for as low as $3 to $5 and pants for as low as $10 to $15).

The company says it will continue to test the acceptance by associates and customers before making a decision to roll it out nationwide.  The polo shirts would replace blue vests.

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