Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Macy's instituting new dress code for employees

Pittsburgh Business Times

A new dress code at Macy's that requires workers to wear black is making some employees see red.

The requirement, which is being rolled out nationally and will take effect Aug. 11, requires male and female employees to wear all-black. Exceptions are made for men's shirts and ties and women's shoes and sleeveless tops provided the tops are covered by a black jacket or sweater.

Pinstripe suits are allowed, as long as the stripe is thin and only one color.

"Depending on if you work in juniors or young men, it's a little more relaxed," said Orlando Veras, a spokesman at Macy's East headquarters in New York City, which covers about 174 stores. "Instead of wearing dress slacks they can wear black denim."

The new dress code is an attempt by the retailer to make it easier for customers to identify sales associates, Veras said. Macy's has always required employees to dress professionally, so the only change is the color.

"It looks amazing," Veras said. "I just came back from a new store opening in Philadelphia. There's a sea of people and you can tell who our associates are from far away."

But the rule is upsetting to some employees who have to spend money on a new wardrobe, even with the special employee-only discounts that have been offered on black clothes.

One national retail analyst said the dress code could make it difficult for Macy's to hire part-time temporary help during the Christmas shopping season because of the added expense.

"They may get a bit of a sales person revolution if they're not careful," said Britt Beemer of America's Research Group.

Bloomingdale's instituted the same policy a year ago, Beemer said, and some employees there called it a "major hardship."


  1. I think it is a good idea to have a dress code.

    My question to you, Steven, is where did you get this love of malls?
    I have never seen somebody have such a fascination of malls before.



  2. Thank you for noticing my obsession, Phil. :-)

    I guess it started when I was very small, because I don’t remember a time that I didn’t love malls, retail trade, and shopping. The whole thing solidified into what it is now when I discovered the internet and realized that there were people a lot like me out there.

    If I can get a little self-indulgent, my particular obsession is a little unique because most mall geeks don’t like to shop and most ‘power-shoppers’ aren’t interested in retail history. I think they’re intrinsically linked and you can’t really have one without the other. I try to cover both in my blogs.

  3. I like dress codes as well, although, if I worked there, I'd appreciate a VERY steep discount on black clothes.

  4. It sounds like the employees will get steep black clothing discounts to start with, though it'll eventually revert to the standard discount.