One of my biggest frustrations is walking into a retail store and not being able to tell who are the employees and who are the customers. For better or worse, society tends to judge people by how they dress, so selecting an appropriate employee uniform can immediately establish a professional business image that attracts and helps retain customers. Uniforms are very useful in convenience stores, liquor stores, gas stations, and many other small businesses. Uniforms in a retail business setting will help with branding, identifiability to consumers, professionalism, and will benefit your employees.
When employees are wearing a uniform that depicts your company’s logo, it’s almost like a walking advertisement. Customers and potential customers will see your businesses logo on your employees shirts and they will begin to recognize it more, which will strengthen your brand. Additionally, if you have the services or products that your convenience store/retail store offers on your employees uniforms, that’s another avenue to promote your business for free. Most likely, your employees won’t only be wearing their uniforms at work, but also on their way to work. This means that many people will see your businesses logo and the services you offer on these uniforms in public as well. Something to note however, is to make sure that when your designing your businesses uniforms, you keep your branding consistent. What I mean by this, is if a certain color is associated with your brand, like how dark green is associated with Starbucks, your employees uniforms should match that. When all of your employees are promoting your brand by wearing a uniform with your logo, products, and services on it, your retail business is getting free advertising.
When a customer walks into your retail store, you want to make sure they can differentiate employees and other customers. When employees are wearing a uniform, it makes it much easier for customers to approach the employee and ask them questions about your products. You don’t want a customer to leave your business because they were confused about something and could not find an employee to address their issue. Some of the most iconic retail uniforms include, Apple’s blue t-shirts, IKEA’s bright yellow shirts, and Footlocker’s striped t-shirts. What these uniforms all have in common is that customers can identify the employee from a mile away. According to the National Retail Federation or NRF, 35.1% of customers have questions before purchasing a product or service, so having identifiable and easily approachable employees at your retail store can really help you boost sales and improve customer satisfaction. Overall, having employees be easily identifiable to customers will help your small business enormously, specifically with customer satisfaction.
A uniform does not have to be complex to create a professional appearance to your customers. Customers perceive employees with uniforms as more professional compared to those who do not wear a uniform. People tend to have a natural tendency to trust those who are in a uniform, so it makes sense for you to require your employees to wear a uniform. Uniforms also set a standard for what the consumer should expect from your retail store and they show that the company has high expectations for the people who work for it. For example, if you approached an employee at a business that was wearing over sized clothing with a stain on it, would you trust what they had to say? On top of that, what would that attire say about the business? Many people would think that management doesn’t care that their employees are wearing sloppy or unprofessional attire. Requiring employees to wear a uniform at your retail business makes sure that all employees are wearing something presentable, easily identifiable to customers, and professional.
One thing to make sure of, is that the uniform you pick out for your employees is comfortable. If an employee has to work in an uncomfortable uniform, it could impact their performance negatively, which would also impact their customer service negatively. Let me give you an example, when I was younger, I worked in a convenience store that required us to wear uniforms, the shirt they gave us was so stiff and starchy that it scraped your body whenever you moved. I literally could not wait to take it off and I never wore it outside the store. It would have been nice marketing for the business if I wore it in public, don’t you think? You want to make sure that the uniforms you will be providing to your employees will be comfortable and designed well enough that they would be fine with wearing it for an extended period of time. Uniforms could also help employees be more productive, when employees go to work wearing clothes they might wear at home, they may not fully transition into a “work” mindset. As a result, your employees may never fully make the mental shift towards being more productive. Requiring your employees to wear uniforms could be the change that is necessary to help them get more done at your retail store.
One of the first things customers will notice about your business is the uniforms your employees wear. You want to make sure the uniforms you provide to your employees look professional, are designed to be consistent with your brand, and allow your employees to be easily identified. Uniforms are very useful in convenience stores, liquor stores, gas stations, and many other small businesses. Additionally, for your employees benefit, you want to make sure they uniforms you pick out are comfortable to wear for an extended period of time. You do not want you employees to be uncomfortable or irritated on the job, this could be projected to potential customers and effect conversions. Uniforms create a lasting impression on everyone that enters your business, you need to make sure that your uniforms paint your business in a good light. If you enjoyed this article you may be interested in How to Pick the Best Employees for Convenience Stores, Gas Stations, and Retail Stores in 2020