herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Price war as parents rush to buy school uniforms early

The uniforms from Aldi can cost just €5.50
The uniforms from Aldi can cost just €5.50
According to a spokeswoman from Tesco, the next cheapest alternative for cash-strapped parents is to give children their older brothers' or sisters' uniforms

School is still more than a month away but supermarkets are already engaging in a price war to offer parents cheaper uniforms, but without one crucial part - the school crest.

Aldi currently stocks the cheapest uniforms at €5.47, while Tesco is a close second at €6.50.

Dunnes Stores' lowest combination for a boys jumper, shirt and pants is €24.70, while the same combination in Marks and Spencer starts at €28.50. Lidl provides back to school equipment but is not competing in the uniform market.

But as these supermarkets battle it out, 98pc of schools - according to research by Barnardos - will not accept cheap alternatives as they do not have school crests emblazoned on them, causing many cash-strapped families to shell out up to €160 extra per child, per uniform.

According to a spokeswoman from Tesco, the next cheapest alternative for cash-strapped parents is to give children their older brothers' or sisters' uniforms.

In a survey of 1,000 Irish parents carried out by the chain, 52pc of Irish parents said hand-me-down uniforms are the second most common initiative to save on costs, while 42pc of parents felt they should buy new garments for their child.

Aldi and Tesco both said that they sourced their cheaper uniforms ethically.

A spokeswoman for Aldi said: "As a responsible business, we are committed to ensuring the human rights of workers in our supply chains are respected.

"All suppliers of our 'Back to School' range must comply with applicable national laws, industry minimum standards and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and United Nations (UN) Conventions, whichever standard is more stringent," the Aldi spokesperson said.

A spokeswoman for Tesco said its back to school uniform range is sourced ethically.

"We know that our customers care that the places these garments are made are good places to work, and so do we.

We have built long-term relationships with our suppliers and have a team of ethical trading employees working in locations worldwide."

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