The Art of Merchandising


NAUMD is pleased to present The Uniform Chronicles, a new column written by Leslie Watt McArdle, former senior manager of merchandise and product design for Aramark and Vestis.

When you work in the uniform industry, as I have for many years, no two days are ever the same. It is an adventure.

Each client you assist brings both new challenges and joys. The joy comes from being invited to step into their world. You have the opportunity to learn about the intricacies of countless professions you might never have known about in your life.

If you do your job correctly you become a part of each company’s story. You and your team create uniforms that help shape and bolster your client’s identity. Every uniform created is a piece of a larger story standing for the company’s brand and values. The variety of clients in the uniform industry is exciting. One day, you are outfitting a hotel, helping to create elegant uniforms. The next day you are working with a large restaurant chain creating a look that embodies the restaurant’s aesthetic and target market.

The possibilities are limitless!

And the adventure is not just about designing and manufacturing uniforms. The true magic can be found in product merchandising — the art of presenting the uniforms in a way that captures the essence of each business. 

The job of product merchandising is to take the uniform designs your firm is presenting and create a story for the client explaining all the features and benefits of each product. Merchandising an assortment of products can be compared to producing a theatrical production. The producer’s role involves careful planning, creativity, and strategic execution to engage the audience (the uniform client) and deliver a memorable experience.

For the uniform merchandiser the production might include live models for a fashion show, or mannequin displays highlighting the designs. Just like in the theater production, presentation and understanding your target audience is key. You always want to leave the client excited for what is next. 

Storytelling in merchandising is a powerful tool that helps create an emotional connection between the client and the product. This goes much deeper than just displaying the product, it creates the narrative that should resonate with each client you are presenting to.

Working in the uniform industry is exciting and extremely fulfilling. You are helping to create and support each business’s brand, “one perfectly merchandised uniform at a time”

You can reach Leslie at 


Author: admin