Wild Willy’s in Federal Way sells work-wear at discount

Since it opened March 2016, Wild Willy’s Workwear on Pacific Highway South has received a warm welcome from customers.

Not only does the store offer work-wear geared toward people in the construction industries — the first like it in south King County, something else makes it even more valuable to customers.

Store Manager John Johnson said the business carries discount work clothing, footwear and accessories, with all merchandise sold between 20 and 60 percent off of the retail price. While consumers can find work-wear stores in neighboring cities, none have regular discount prices on all items.

“As far as our prices, there is no other store like this in Washington state,” he said.

Johnson said Wild Willy’s can offer discount work clothing, footwear and accessories because he orders merchandise from retail and stock vendors offering close-out and over-stock sales.

Currently, Wild Willy’s has five employees, and business has been steadily growing since the store opened, primarily from people who work in the area, but who don’t necessarily live in Federal Way, Johnson said.

“We’re right on the highway, so we get lots of visibility,” he said.

The store sells all types of merchandise and apparel people in the construction industry or those who have physically demanding jobs regularly require.

Johnson said Wild Willy’s features top brands at good prices.

“That’s kind of the main goal of the store,” he said.

Clothes include recognizable brands, such as Carhartt, Dickies and Wranglers, “which are the big ones for clothing,” Johnson said. Footwear brands include Timberland, Wolverine and Caterpillar, to name a few. The store also sells accessories, including gloves, knee pads and knit hats, to safety equipment, such as back braces, and specialized apparel, such as fire-resistant clothing. For people who have jobs that require specific footwear, Wild Willy’s also offers boots with different safety features, including steel-toed boots, non-metal-tipped boots, to EH-rated boots, which reduce the likelihood of electrocution by the wearer.

To give consumers plenty of merchandise from which to choose, Johnson said, Wild Willy’s offers more than 60 different brands, including apparel in a range of sizes — up to 5x for shirts and a 48-inch waist for pants.

“It depends, but we do actively try to make sure we have big and tall (clothing),” he said. “That is one thing that’s hard to find when you go to some of the more mainstream stores.”

Shoe sizes range from 6 1/2 to 15, and Johnson said Wild Willy’s also carries some clothing for women, which is typically harder to find.

“Business is growing every month,” he said.

Johnson said customers at Wild Willy’s are looking for functional clothing, not the latest style, so they do not care if the colors offered are not on trend, or the clothes are from last season.

“Most of our customers really don’t care, but work clothing has also become a bit of a fashion,” he said.

Johnson said Wild Willy’s customers, however, are people who are looking to save money on work clothes.

“Most of our customers, their clothes get dirty, torn, and they don’t want to spend $50 for a pair of pants,” Johnson said. “If you know you’re tearing up your clothes, we’re definitely the store for you.”

While many of veteran construction workers come in knowing what they want, some younger customers require a little help making their selections, Johnson said. To that end, he and another employee have previous working experience at work-wear retail stores, and they are able to answer customers’ questions and make recommendations.

More in Business

A cloudy day at Renton Municipal Airport. Photo by Haley Ausbun
Renton considers legal avenues for airport plan

The city is looking at how it can combat the FAA’s masterplan requirements

Courtesy of Renton Schools. Through a mentor program between local students and car dealerships, involving Renton School District Career Technical Education (CTE) worksite learning coordinators, nonprofit Mentor Washington and Communities in Schools Renton-Tukwila, students are getting both careers and a friendly hand on stepping into the adulthood. Pictured: First mentee in the program Nick Romo, who has gone on to continue his career after the program and is nearly a master technician, in a video about the program.
Dealing kids a better future

Local car dealerships mentor Renton students for future careers

Courtesy of City of Renton. Site area for the Park Avenue North extension, a project from the city and SECO development that creates a second access point for Southport.
SECO expands its reach

Two new land acquisitions will expand Southport

A screenshot of the Facebook post from Feb. 5 containing the video that allegedly showed roaches in the downtown Renton IHOP kitchen. The restaurant was inspected the next day at request of the owner and found to be clean and free of pests.
Inspection debunks fake viral cockroach video

A local IHOP restaurant received an “excellent” rating after complaints made

New gym gains national attention

Photo by Kevin Pieczynski-Jones At the new Renton business Benavidez Sports Training,… Continue reading

Business alliance serves women of African diaspora in South King County

Nourah Yonous launched the African Women Business Alliance in 2017 to find ways to lift women up.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Wyman and Vicky Dobson, as Wyman Dobson receives a certificate and medal for being a founder of the Nishiwaki-Renton sister cities. Wyman recently retired and sold his family building, where he had been an attorney for 59 years.
Dobson shuts his doors, leaves behind a nearly 60-year legacy

Long-time local lawyer, leader chooses to retire

A King County judge found the company misled customers into thinking it was a charity. Photo courtesy of the state Attorney General’s office
Judge rules Value Village deceived customers

The King County judge found the company misled customers into thinking it was a charity.

Fake website attempts to lure Renton businesses

A fake business claiming to be a part of the Renton Reporter’s… Continue reading

Republic Services sanitation workers on strike in Massachusetts. COURTESY PHOTO
No garbage, recycling service in Renton Friday | Update

Pickets set up to support sanitation workers on strike in Massachusetts

Muckleshoot Indian Tribe to develop luxury hotel at Auburn casino

Opening in 2021, dynamic resort experience to meet guest demand, the tribe says

From preliminary plans for the new Topgolf location in Renton, courtesy of the city.
Topgolf to bring high-tech driving range to Renton

Construction is expected to be complete in 2021, according to the land-use notice.