Walmart eases its dress code to allow jeans

Key Points
  • Workers in a select number of Walmart's stores are now allowed to wear blue jeans.
  • It's still unclear if the new dress code will stick and expand to other locations.
  • With a tight U.S. labor market, talent is harder to come by.
Employee Clara Martinez stocks the shelves at a Walmart store on Feb. 19, 2015, in Miami.
Getty Images

Expect to see more colored tops and denim at Walmart.

Workers in a select number of the retailer's stores are now allowed to wear blue jeans, instead of what used to be just khaki pants or black denim, an internal memo sent around to employees said. They're also now allowed to wear shirts in any solid color, instead of just blue or white.

Bloomberg first reported on the changes Thursday morning.

It's still unclear if the new dress code will stick and eventually roll out to more stores and for more of Walmart's employees. A more lax uniform is one way for the retailer to appease its staff and keep them motivated to work for Walmart.

"We are always testing new ideas and concepts in a small number of our stores," a Walmart spokesman told CNBC. "Some of these tests are expanded while others are retired. We won't know next steps on this test until we've had a chance to learn what works and what could work better."

Earlier this year, Walmart said it would hike its starting wage to $11 an hour and give some employees bonuses in light of new tax legislation. The decision followed similar moves by Target, Gap and Costco, all of which have been sweetening benefits.

The U.S. unemployment rate currently sits at 4.1 percent, down from 5.7 percent in 2015. With a shrinking pool for labor, retailers are competing for the best talent and fighting to retain their own.