George buyer and mum-of-three Sarah Payne tells us what’s new in our Back to School range this year…
Time passes so quickly when you measure it in school terms – I can’t believe A-Level and GCSE results are out already!
This year's Back To School collection reflects that there have been lots of changes over the past couple of years to uniform guidelines. With more schools joining academies the number of uniform colours required is growing. We now offer 11 colours in some sweatshirts and knitwear styles and six colours in some skirts and pinafores, and all our shirts now button to the top allowing a tie to be worn.
One thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to giving parents great quality schoolwear for their children at a great price:
- We use Teflon Eco Elite on the majority of our woven skirts and trousers which helps repel and release stains making them easier to clean.
- Our stain-release polo shirts release ground-in stains and, combined with our Stay White technology, this means your whites stay white for longer.
- Our cotton rich jumpers are made for comfort against sensitive skin. And we use lasting colour treatment on the majority of our sweatshirts, knitwear and polo shirts so they stay bright.
- We use stretch for comfort on our Skinny styles and sports products.
- We add a School Smart permanent crease to our Half elastic trousers for extra smartness!
We’ve introduced more jersey styles into the range for ease of dressing on PE days. Our pleated dress has been a surprise hit this year. This is a really easy piece for the girls, perfect for PE days as it’s an easy dressing, pull-on style and great for parents as it has stay white technology on the top.
We’ve also listened to customer feedback on knitwear and jerseywear. This year we’ve made our knitwear loftier so it's thicker and feels warmer.
We try to cover all options with more traditional formal styles alongside more fashion pieces for those that do not have strict uniform. Our Boys Skinny leg trouser is now in a formal trouser style as the jean styling was previously not acceptable in some schools. The jean style is still available online only for those that can get away with it in their school.
We try to stay up-to-date on changes to uniform regulations at schools in our local communities with the help of our community champions in store so that we can make sure we have plenty of required colours in stock.
We really focus on availability throughout the year. Sometimes we get it wrong and styles can sell through quicker than anticipated especially on new styles, but stock is constantly being replenished especially throughout our peak weeks in July and August.
We’ve found that offering multipacks really helps with availability and avoids that last-minute panic for customers! Personally I’ve never bought just one piece of any school uniform in the past 11 years.
Value is always a focus for us and we are able to keep prices low due to the volumes that we buy on our core products. We develop and test all our fabrics directly with mills across the world and all our factories and mills are audited to industry standards with no exceptions. Everything is tested to British standards and all done by independent testing laboratories.
We hope our improved signage in store and on packaging will help customers more easily find what they’re looking for. My boys will only wear Skinny Leg trousers so I can instantly see the skinny options available by using the colour coding on the signs in store and the packaging.
We have made the SLIM FIT wording on our polo and shirt packaging larger to help the customer find their preferred style quicker. And we’re trying to improve our online experience too by adding the option to search by colour and filter by leg shape or waist fit.