COVID-19: A parent's guide to buying school uniform

Table of Contents

1.0. Introduction.

We at Nationwide School Uniforms appreciate that the fast approaching “back to school” period may bring challenges for many of us, especially given the Covid-19 pandemic. We have prepared this short guide, that we hope will assist you when purchasing your uniform items, prior to the new school year starting in September.

Our main aim is to ensure that we provide a safe environment for our staff, parents, and their children, if you wish to visit our retail store in person. This guide will give you, our valued customer, the tools to decide how you will purchase your uniform requirements this summer.

2.0. Changes to the way our retail store will operate when we reopen.

All retail stores face problems when it comes to customer safety, but for stores that provide clothing, there are additional challenges. In addition to social distancing guidelines, there are government concerns regarding the use of changing facilities, whilst government advice presently states that all items of clothing that have been tried on but not purchased, should be put into quarantine and not touched for 72 hours. For those of you who may not have visited our retail premises before; the summer holiday period is always an extremely busy time of year, with many children and parents visiting our shop premises daily to try on and buy uniform. In view of the current Covid-19 situation, coupled with government retail guidelines, we do not believe it would be either safe or appropriate to open the shop to the public as we would ordinarily do.

With the above in mind, when our retail store re-opens on Monday 22nd June 2020, we will operate a trade counter “Argos styleservice to assist you. To you, our customer, this will mean that the following restrictions & procedures will apply:

  • All customers will be expected to queue outside (whilst adhering to current social distancing rules) and will enter the store using a “one in, one out” traffic light system.

  • A hand sanitising station will be located just inside the trade counter entrance. You will be required to clean your hands thoroughly before approaching the counter.

  • Whilst our staff may be able to make some sizing recommendations, we will not be able to help you to measure your child on site, as all staff will be working behind a counter and will not be allowed to leave it.

  • When inside the store, you will not be able to browse, and your child will not be able to try on any items of clothing; all items are to be tried on at home.

  • We will continue to accept cash payments, where necessary, however we would prefer all customers to pay by card if possible.

If you wish to use our trade counter service, we would, respectfully ask you to help us by making the following preparations:

  • Measure your child with a tape measure before you visit. You will be able to exchange any items that do not fit, but accurate measuring will reduce the likelihood of you needing to return items due to an incorrect fit. A measuring guide can be found below and on our web page to assist with this.

  • Have a handwritten list of all items of clothing that you wish to purchase, including sizes and quantities of each. We can then take this list from you at the trade counter, so that the order can be picked quickly. An order form template is included in this guide.

  • As you/your child will not be able to try on any items of clothing on our premises, please think about shopping alone to reduce the number of people in store at any one time.
  • In view of the requirement to queue outside the store, you may wish to consider bringing additional warm clothing or an umbrella depending on weather conditions on the day.

Please visit our website, where we will publish our trade counter opening hours, as these may change during the “back to school” period in line with demand.

Download our trade counter order form.

3.0. Why not place your order online?

Rather than use our trade counter service, why not purchase your uniform requirements online, from the comfort of your home, using our, simple and easy to use web platform? Each school has a single, purpose built, dedicated page on our website, which shows, not only all of the approved “badged” items, but also all of the plain additional items such as; trousers, skirts, pinafore dresses, shirts & blouses, socks & tights, shorts & jogging bottoms and name tapes that you may wish to order. This way, you have the option of buying all of your uniform from one professional and dedicated supplier.

Each page also includes a list of the school’s uniform requirements, so that you can check this off as you buy.  Once you have added all required items into the shopping basket, we then offer the following delivery options:

  • Have your order delivered to one UK mainland address for a small charge of £4.50. Your order will be sent via 1st class post or recorded delivery by Parcel Force.

  • Click & Collect. Place your order online and collect it from us when you have received an email notifying you that your parcel is ready.

  • EOM delivery. If your school is still accepting deliveries, then why not take advantage of this free of charge option. Cut off & shipping dates can be found on your school’s page on our website if applicable.

4.0. When should I buy?

Whichever method you wish to use to shop with us, please bear in mind that, historically, the demand for uniform is at its greatest 14 days before the start of the new school year. With the added complications of buying school uniform due to Covid-19, we would urge you to be prepared and buy earlier than you would perhaps ordinarily do. This will spread demand which, in turn, will mean that we are able to offer you a better customer service.

5.0. Collections:

Customers who have been instructed that their order is ready for collection, will be able to do so, from a separate, dedicated collections point, away from what we expect may be a busy trade counter. This will not only allow orders to be collected in a quick and efficient way, but for your safety, will also enable us to spread customers across our full site.

When you arrive on site, please follow the signs to the collection point, where you will be asked for proof of your order number, together with the surname of the person who placed the order.

No order will be released without this information.

6.0. Returns:

If you have any items that you wish to return or exchange, where the original purchase was made online, then please post these back to:

Nationwide School Uniforms, c/o Moschatel Ltd, Vale Road, Spilsby, Lincolnshire, PE23 5HE.

Please ensure that any items are returned in its original packaging, together with our returns form, a copy of which can be found within this guide.

If you would like to exchange any items and have these posted back to you, then an additional postage charge will be due. Please help us by visiting our website and pre-paying the return carriage charge in advance. This will ensure that your replacements can be shipped as soon as your returned parcel has been opened. This payment portal can be found using the following web link:

https://www.nationwideschooluniforms.co.uk/school-uniform/return-carriage-charge

All returned parcels will be held for 48 hours, prior to opening, at which point your request will be processed.

All returns or exchanges, where the original purchase was made through our trade counter, will need to be exchanged or refunded through the same process. If you have placed your order online and would prefer to exchange your items in person, then please also use our trade counter.

Download our online order returns forms.

7.0. Help with choosing the correct size:

Although, most clothing retailers refer to a child’s clothing size by age, it is important to remember that all children are different. Therefore, we would recommend that you take the time to measure your child properly to ensure that you give yourself the best chance of any uniform that you purchase fitting correctly.

As a supplier, it is difficult to offer exact guidance on this, as it will depend upon how long you as a parent wish the uniform for your child to last and how your child likes clothes to feel when worn. However, we have included in this guide the following pictograms which we hope will help:

TOP TIP:

When you are taking the neck measurement, leave 2 fingers between the tape and the skin. This will ensure that when the top button is fastened, that the collar is not too tight.

Chest Measurement:

Measure around the fullest part of the chest, making sure that the tape is level under the arms and across the shoulder blades. Make sure that your child is relaxed when measured so that you get a true measurement.

Waist Measurement:

Measure around the waist at the natural waistline (smallest part). In younger children this is usually midway between the bottom rib and hip bone.

Inside Leg:

When measuring, make sure you are stood up straight with shoes on. Measure from the top of the leg (inside near to the crotch area) down to where you want the trousers to finish. This is usually 1 inch from the ground.

Download our paper tape measure template.

8.0. Follow us on Facebook:

As government advise regarding COVID-19 is likely to change in the coming months, we would strongly recommend that you follow us on Facebook, where we will be posting regular updates regarding any changes to our operating procedures.

9.0. Summary:

These are unprecedented times for us all, and whilst we will endeavour to do everything possible to ensure that your shopping experience with us is a positive one, we cannot do it without your support, understanding and patience. Our staff are here to help, both in person and by telephone.

By BEING PREPARED, combined with BUYING AS EARLY AS YOU CAN, you can help and support us get through this challenging and difficult period in a safe and measured way.

As government guidelines are likely to change, this guide was correct as of 19th June. We will of course, monitor any changes as we move through the “back to school” period and if necessary, will announce any amendments to our operation through our website and Facebook page.

Thank you for your continued support.

Nationwide School Uniforms.