Why your employees should wear uniforms.
When we enter a store, one of the differences we see between a chain of professional stores and an amateur store is the clothing and presentation of employees.
Big chains pay attention to this aspect because it’s an important detail.
If your customers look at your employees and they are dressed as they want and with little care, they will think the rest of the store is also poorly maintained.
But there are other advantages for your employees to wear the store’s uniform:
- It’s much easier for your customers to identify who are the salespersons and who are not.
- The uniform makes employees feel that there are rules and a corporate culture. And so they will respect all other company rules even more.
- But it’s not just the employees who will respect more the rules, customers will too. It’s been proven that one of the ways to make someone have authority and to be respected is by the uniform they wear. We were trained to respect more police officers, firefighters, nurses, etc.
What to choose for your employees uniforms.
You should choose clothing that your employees feel comfortable wearing them. But the uniform should appeal first to your customers, and then to your employees.
When hiring new employees inform them that they’ll have to wear company clothing.
Wear store clothing
The solution of wearing clothing from the store seems to be the simplest solution.
And in fact, it’s a good solution for many cases. However this clothing shouldn’t be the same that is on sale at the store, at that time. Therefore, there are two options:
- Wear clothing from previous collections. This is the most economical solution.
- Buy clothing specifically for your employees.
Ideally, uniforms should represent the boldest fashion the store has. Often customers don’t feel good about wearing the latest fashion trends, but after seeing other people wear such clothes, they want to buy.
So if you have the possibility of making the clothes, make the clothes that have the latest fashion. Or if you don’t manufacture your clothes, choose your clothes that have a very strong fashion component and you don’t think customers will have the guts to buy.
The advantage of wearing store clothing, that is, clothing that has the store style, is that you’ll be using employees as demonstrators of the store’s clothing style.
The other solution is to buy non-store clothing.
This is the solution that many clothing chains use. The advantage is you can put a logo, or a phrase on clothing.
In these cases, we should pay attention to top clothes. For bottom clothes you can give the clothes (pants, skirts, shorts), or you can define what type of clothes they can wear.
In an informal store, you can give the top clothes, and tell employees that they have to wear jeans, for example.
The most used solutions for specific clothing uniform are:
- T-shirt or top
- Polo shirt
- Sweat-shirt, for winter
- Coat, to wear over the t-shirt or polo when it’s colder.
If you want to put the logo, or store name on the uniform, there are two solutions:
- Screen-printed. Allows for greater detail in the design, so it’s advisable for designs with small details
- Embroidery, which is more resistant to washing than screen-printing.
As for clothing, always opt for clothing with polyester. Polyester is tougher than cotton, and colors stay brighter for much longer.
These are the most used solutions in the summer.
The rest of the image
If your customers are mostly urban and “hipster” style, your employees can have tattoos and beards, for that is the style of the customers. However, this will not suit most customers. So, define hairstyle, make-up, and buy clothes for your employees to wear.
Uniforms and hierarchy
One of the characteristics of uniforms is that they are the same for all employees.
But there are some advantages that manager’s uniforms are different from other employees:
- For employees, it is a way of feeling that there is a hierarchy.
- For customers it’s a way of knowing when they’re talking to a store manager.
A very adopted solution for managers, is that their uniforms are the same as others, except the color.
In luxury stores, employees should be very well dressed.
Often employees are better dressed than customers.
And there’s a reason for that.
And the reason is that this keeps the less desirable customers away from the stores because they don’t feel good being in a store where employees dress better than they do.
If your store has a vintage image, then you can have very unique uniforms, which stand out from most stores.
If you take a look at the vintage-style coffee shops, you will find a specific type of uniforms, that usually includes a shirt (or blouse). There may be a tie, an apron, and a cap, as in the photos below.
You can use this outfit in your store, just like this clothing store did (picture below).
Retro stores are inspired in the 50s and 60s, so you can dress your employees with clothes of that time.
See, for example this photo of a 1950s supermarket.
Salesgirls don’t need necessarily to wear an apron, but they can wear dresses, or skirts, as they did in the 1950s and 1960s.
Stores with a story
If your store has a story then, if possible, uniforms should be about this story.
For example, a store that has a story about Italy, may have employees dressed with clothes in red, white and green.
A store with a story that has to do with surfing may have employees wearing Hawaiian shirts.