M&S to take further inflation hit as it commits to holding back-to-school prices
With the cost-of-living crisis set to make the upcoming back-to-school (BtS) period a particularly difficult time for many UK parents, M&S is to take a hit to profits as the UK retail giant said Thursday it aims to protect the price of its school uniforms offer for a third year.
It’s part of the retailer’s “commitment to protecting value on the products that matter most to customers”, it said.
“Back by popular demand”, this season, M&S will also be offering an additional 20% off school uniform for early shoppers.
Prices in the range begin at £7 for a multipack of three responsibly sourced cotton unisex polo shirts, featuring StayNew technology to reduce colour loss and bobbling. When the additional 20% BtS offer is applied, prices start from just £5.60 for early shoppers.
M&S said its school uniform is designed to be durable and pass the ’hand-me-down’ quality test “to ensure even when it’s outgrown, it’s too good to waste and can be handed down to family and friends”.
Across the range, M&S has also incorporated “intelligent innovative design features” that grow with children, from growth-proof hems to adjustable waistbands. Meanwhile, the 2023 range continues to include parent-friendly innovations, from permanent pleats in skirts to ‘easy to iron’ shirts.
According to the latest ‘M&S Family Matters Index’, the cost of living remains a concern for 81% of families, with 62% of customers placing value as the most important priority when shopping. And M&S claims its school uniform is ranked #1 by consumers for value for money and the retailer “is clear that the hold on prices – which means they have remained the same since 2021 — will not compromise on quality”.
Alexandra Dimitriu, Kidswear Director at M&S, added: “School uniform is an essential purchase for millions of families and now more than ever, parents are prioritising value when it comes to making purchasing decisions. We believe that a great price shouldn’t come at the expense of great quality and by continuing to protect prices, we’re ensuring affordable school uniform – that also passes the hand-me-down test - is accessible to all families this Back-to-School season.”
The company’s move to hold the price of its products comes as retailers across the clothing, accessories and footwear sectors are doing likewise. Consumers may not necessarily be aware of it as they’re seeing some price rises, but retailers are also absorbing a large number of the cost increases they've seen in their own supply chains and not fully passing them on.
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