BUSINESS NEWS - As children return to schools across the country next week, many cash-strapped parents are having to buy school uniforms yet again, hoping that the 2021 school calendar isn’t fraught with disruptions.
As Edgars reclaims its place in the retail offering, being relevant to the customer in context of the new norm is important especially in the context of last year’s challenges.
Edgars has recognized that parents would very possibly have had to invest in ‘new uniforms’ only for these not to be used or hardly used.
With the economy under increasing strain, Edgars offers relief to parents by giving back R12.5 million in price reductions to bring already battling customers greater value during the ‘Back to School’ season.
“As a leading fashion retailer we have a responsibility to help our customers. Education is crucial to a child’s development and not having access to a uniform should never deter any child from attending school. Parents across the country have aired their frustrations on this subject and we have been listening,” says Norman Drieselmann, CEO at Retailability, the company which bought Edgars in 2020.
Around 20% (4 760) of all schools in South Africa are classified at Quintile 1 (the ‘poorest of the poor’ schools). This equates to 2.5 million learners who potentially are in need of uniforms which they can’t afford. With the cost of quality uniforms on the rise, which includes everything from shoes and socks, to shirts and blazers, there is a lot of pressure on parents to spend money they don’t have. And while school uniforms have an important social and educational objective, it shouldn’t prevent any learner from not attending school or interfering with their constitutional rights.
To assist those families who just can’t afford new or used school uniforms, Edgars has partnered with Partners for Possibilities, an NGO that facilitates cross-sectoral reciprocal partnerships between Business, Government and the Social Sector, in their ‘Back to School Donate a Uniform” campaign. Edgars is asking parents to drop off lightly used school uniforms at any of its 120 stores nationwide, which will be distributed to schools in need.
Edgar’s distributor, City Logistics, will provide the distribution service to ensure uniforms brought to store will be delivered to Partners for Possibilities, who will then distribute them to schools in areas of most need. With 130 stores to its name of which 120 are located in South Africa it is well positioned to reach relevant communities.
To help to increase the life of a school uniform, Edgars suggests following these very simple tips:
Buy the next size up
Children don’t stop growing until around 15 or 16 years old, so it’s wise to always buy the next size up. This means a uniform can last up to two years.
Always follow the washing instructions
Clothes come with a tag inside explaining how to clean them. It would help if you took the time to study the instructions and following them diligently.
Inside out washing
Turning the clothes inside out when washing or when you hang them up to dry.
Dry in the shade
Drying clothes in direct sunlight can damage the colour of the fabric.
Make sure kids remove their uniforms at home
Children often end up wearing school uniforms for hours after they get home. Rather encourage your kids to take them off to prevent further damage.
For the many parents who are shopping for school uniforms and accessories, there are two factors that are top of mind. One is the longevity and quality of the garment, the other the price. Striking a balance between the two to offer value is what Edgars has focused its efforts on and will continue to do for its customers going forward.
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