Blog: Leonie BarrieSchool uniform investigation

Leonie Barrie | 7 July 2006

Worth GBP450m a year, there’s a lot at stake in the UK school uniform industry. What’s surprising, though, is that it’s being investigated by the government’s competition regulator, the OFT, after complaints from parents over the quality and price of the uniforms they’re being forced to buy. Yes, “forced.” Most school pupils in the UK have to wear school uniforms, but when it comes to buying them, parents are limited in choice. Many schools now specify where the uniform is to be bought from – and more often than not these are expensive specialist shops and not supermarkets like Asda and Tesco where the cheapest options can be found. Retailers, too, fear these “restrictive practices” are barring from this lucrative market.

The OFT wants to know whether the practice is pushing up the prices parents pay. I certainly think the estimated average cost of a uniform and PE kit (about £280 a year for a secondary school pupil and £170 for a primary school pupil) seems a bit steep, particularly when you can pick up polo shirts for under GBP1 and trousers and skirts for less than GBP2 at the supermarkets.

Just two years ago the government was telling schools how important it was to keep costs down and allow parents to shop around for the cheapest deals – and surely it’s only fair that schools, parents, retailers and, most importantly, pupils get the best deals around.

 


BLOG

Likely shifts in the sourcing landscape in 2017

Continuing our look at what lies ahead for the apparel industry and its supply chain in 2017, the panel of industry experts consulted by just-style last week tackled likely shifts in the sourcing land...

BLOG

Trump trade policies and China tensions top concerns

This week our focus turns to first thoughts from a panel of industry experts consulted by just-style on the challenges and opportunities likely to face the apparel supply chain in 2017, with prospects...

BLOG

Happy New Year – and a first look at 2017

Welcome back after the holiday break, and from the team here at just-style I’d like to wish all our readers a happy and prosperous New Year....

BLOG

New re:source to help unravel sourcing decisions

Apparel sourcing is a complex process built on a mix of location, logistics, lead-time, price, compliance, risk and reliability. And it's in a constant state of flux as retailers, brands and manufactu...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?