Inflation is a top concern for parents ahead of back-to-school. How are retailers helping?
The only items on this year’s school list will be the ones that parents deem as “absolutely critical” according to new research report by Quantum Metric.
The new retail inflation benchmark report titled ‘Adjusting for inflation’ examines how shopping habits are changing in the face of economic uncertainty, as a result of rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.
Higher prices have prevented 34% of Brits from being able to purchase all of the school or college supplies that they had originally intended. Three in four of this group (71%) noted they will only purchase items they see as essential.
GroceryAid have revealed that 4,344 children have been supported by their School Essentials Grant with more than £642,000 paid in one-off, non-repayable grants to help families in need.
The charity received more than 2,600 applications, a whopping 15% increase from 2021, from families seeking financial support to help purchase school necessities. The news comes as the UK inflation hits a 40-year high and parents are under more pressure than ever.
What are retailers doing to support parents with back to school?
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson told The Retail Bulletin: “We know the pressure families are facing and continue to offer great value and choice in our back-to-school range. Made for Mums, the UK’s largest parenting reviews site, has awarded our school uniform ‘best supermarket’ uniform and it is available from as little as £3. Our school uniform has been purposefully designed to be comfortable and durable and we offer a 150-day guarantee.”
A spokesperson for Marks & Spencer confirmed to us: “We’re helping families make the most of their summer budgets – on the everyday essentials and the added extras to make those summer holiday memories which last a lifetime!”
In July, M&S announced they would hold prices on schoolwearwhich “has been designed to be durable and pass the ’hand-me-down’ quality test”. The retailer also launched ‘Sparks Days Out’ to offer all customers spending over £35 on Clothing & Home – including schoolwear – access to discounts of up to 50% at over 2000 UK family attractions and experiences across the UK.
M&S have also extended their Kids eat free summer offer until the 2nd September. Parents can get a free Kids’ Munch Menu breakfast (until 11am) or lunch (11am – close) when they spend £5 or more in a single transaction on food or drink for adults. The firm are expecting to give away half a million free kids meals by the end of the year.
We spoke to a Tesco spokesperson who said: We’ve worked really hard to give our customers great value on school uniform ahead of the new school year. And despite challenges faced by the clothing industry, key lines such as skirts, polo shirts and jumpers are down in price since 2019, while others, like school trousers, are the same price as 2019”.
The Tesco range has been designed with ‘Grow with me hems’ and Teflon Eco Elite stain repellent technology in many products to help reduce the need for mid-year replacements. Many products are made with at least 50% recycled materials and produced using less water. Tesco are also offering parents free kids meals.
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