Despite the effect of spiralling input costs on the global supply chain, high street retailers are still managing to produce school essentials at low prices. This week the UK's largest retailer, Tesco, launched its cheapest range of schoolwear "ever", and just-style takes a look at how far its rivals are managing to push down uniform prices.

Asda, Walmart-owned 'big four' supermarket
School uniforms at George, Asda's clothing brand, begin at GBP2 (US$3.20) for a polo but exceed Tesco's GBP1.75 for a girls' skirt. 

For boys, George school trousers range from GBP3 for 3-4 years and GBP6 for 15-16 years, with shorts on average costing slightly more. Unisex sweatshirts start from GBP2, shirts at GBP3 and jumpers from GBP2. George's school shoes retail from GBP12.50.

For girls, meanwhile, shirts range from GBP3 to GBP7 and trousers from GBP3 to GBP10. Skirts range from GBP3 to GBP7 and shoes from GBP10.

Asda kicked off a back-to-school price war in June 2009 by selling school uniforms for just GBP4.75 (US$7.85), saying at the time the same uniform would cost double at Tesco or Marks and Spencer.

Tesco, the UK's largest retailer
Tesco responded to Asda's 2009 pricing that very same month, by offering to "kit out kids" for just GBP3.75 - which was GBP1 cheaper than the price announced by its arch-rival Asda. Two years on and the flat rate is GBP4.50 - showing very little inflation given recent cost pressures facing the apparel supply chain.

Tesco's back to school and value range include school uniform essentials starting from GBP1.75. Its boys' value trousers are priced from GBP1.75 for ages ranging from 3-4 to 14-15, while a three-pack of long sleeve shirts cost GBP3.75. Girls skirts will this summer start at GBP1.75, with trousers costing GBP4 and shirts retailing at the same price.

Marks and Spencer (M&S), the UK's largest clothing retailer
M&S like Tesco also offer Value uniform brand with clothing from GBP1.50 (US$2.40). Boys' trousers start at GBP3.50 compared to Tesco where you can buy two for the same price. For boys, shirts range from GBP5 for one to GBP18 for a three-pack. M&S shirts for boys and girls start from GBP5, GBP1 more than Tesco's.

Girls' skirts retail from GBP6, more than double the price of Tesco's GBP1.75 and Asda's GBP3 skirt. Pinafores start from GBP6 and trousers at the same price. Cardigans start from GBP3.50 and jumpers from GBP2.

BHS, Iconic department store chain and part of Arcadia Group
BHS offer school uniform essentials to kick of the new term with prices starting from GBP3 (US$4.81) for three-pack for boys and girls. The 3 for GBP3 offer includes polo top, t-shirt and shirt for boys and polo top, t-shirt and blouse for girls. This applies to all ages from 3-16 years-of-age. Up against Tesco's value school uniform range, this offer is extended further with 3 for free, getting a three-pack of school tops for free when you spend GBP30 at BHS.

Age ranges online include junior boys (aged 3-12), senior boys (aged 11-16), junior girls (3-12) and senior girls (11-16). For boys, trousers start from GBP3.50 for juniors and from GBP8 for a two-pack for seniors. For those summer months, shorts may be a popular option among junior boys starting from GBP6. Unisex jumpers start from GBP5 for juniors and GBP10 for seniors.

For girls, skirts start from GBP4, trousers from GBP5 and shoes from GBP10. Cardigans start from GBP7 for juniors and GBP10 for seniors. BHS's shoes start from GBP10, costing the same at rival retailer Asda.

Clive Marks, long-established school uniform provider
Wholesale and retail supplier of school uniform and sportswear Clive Mark offers essential uniform for boys and girls uniform with boys trousers ranging from GBP9.75 and girls skirts from GBP7.75 online. Tesco certainly beats this with its value GBP1.75 trousers and skirts.

For boys, shirts are available from GBP5.75 and and polo shirts from GBP3.75. This totals GBP9.50 which is significantly higher than BHS's 3 for GBP3 offer. Boys' shorts retail from GBP8.75, GBP2.75 more than BHS's.

For girls, blouses are available from GBP5.75, trousers from GBP6.75, jumpers from GBP11.50 and cardigans from GBP8.75. Sweatshirts for boys and girls range from GBP5.75 to GBP13.75 for ages 1-13 and small to xxlarge, compared to GBP2 from Asda.