Blog: School 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.
Fashion retailer H&M and UK based glove and leather manufacturer Pittards both say they are monitoring the situation in Ethiopia closely after the country's government declared a state of emergency af...
Increasing competition for garment sourcing contracts is seeing China not only being challenged by other countries in Asia, but by sub-Saharan African and even Russian suppliers too. And it is pushing...
The monthly minimum wage for workers in Cambodia's textile, garment and footwear sector is set to rise to $153 from January next year, following a vote on the issue last week. The increase marks a ris...
The results of two highly-anticipated initiatives in the sportswear sphere were revealed last week: the launch of Under Armour’s new UAS lifestyle brand and the first pair of running shoes created at ...
- Fashion fit for the future – strategies for speed
- Digitisation to drive new apparel-making models
- Will new Vietnam wage hinder competitiveness?
- Under Armour Lighthouse will disrupt production
- How TAL Apparel is staying ahead of the game
- Gap to shutter all UK Banana Republic stores
- M&S "unappealing" clothing a barrier to growth
- Reebok Liquid Factory reinvents shoe production
- Child refugees found in Turkey apparel factories
- Bangladesh tops China as lead cotton importer
- Africa-Med strategic sourcing review – comparing East Africa, North Africa and Turkey
- REPORT BUNDLE: Africa-Med, Southeast Asia and Central America strategic sourcing pack
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Apparel (GLOBAL) - Industry Report
- Global Sports and Fitness Wear Market 2016-2020