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    Spectrum Stores Enhances Image

    Uniform program with TLM Industries was a solution both management and employees could agree on.

    WEST POINT, Ga. -- Spectrum Stores, Inc., a convenience chain with 90 stores throughout the Southeast and more than 900 employees, recently launched a new uniform program with the specific purpose of enhancing employee and store image through a modified and flexible apparel program.

    The catalyst for the change came about in response to Spectrum employees improperly wearing their uniforms. Specifically, the company found that the majority of the female employees felt self-conscious in the polo uniforms and disliked tucking in their shirts. The result, the company said, was a sloppy look and an unhappy workforce, which Spectrum felt was tarnishing the store image.

    So Spectrum's director of training, Lynn Colosano, decided to turn to their uniform supplier of over 10 years, TLM Industries, for a solution. The company was looking for a uniform program that both management and employees could agree on. By utilizing TLM's user-friendly custom design website and their exclusive line of coordinated products for ideas, Spectrum and TLM fashioned a solution of smocks and polos.

    The smocks are worn untucked over street clothes, appealing to both men and women, and are color-coordinated with the polo's through matching collars and cuffs. Spectrum believes that their employees are the most important assets they have, and that for them to feel good about themselves change needed to start with the uniform.

    "In addition to adding the smock to our uniform program, we have also changed to a more durable fabric and vibrant color. When the employees feel good about themselves it shows, and they give better customer service," Colosano said.

    The new program not only improved the employees' image and attitude, but it also gave the employees an option in what to wear. The new uniform program allows the employees to choose from two smocks, two polos or one of each. Giving employees input in such matters creates a better attitude for cooperation, and allows for individuality while still maintaining continuity with the team colors.

    "Within the past year we have really stressed the appearance of our employees and starting a new uniform program with an updated, modern look was the first step," Bob Holcomb, Spectrum Stores' vice president of human resources.

    In an industry that for many years did not focus much attention on dress, more time and money is now being spent on the appearance of the workforce. The increased competition for repeat customers, combined with the success of other convenience companies upgrading their image and concepts, have forced many businesses to realize the value of investing in image. "If the employees look sharp, they feel sharp and will play sharp," Holcomb said.

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