The fact that your school requires uniforms demonstrates you care about your brand as well as your students, in the classroom and elsewhere. The source you choose to obtain those uniforms will reflect directly on your school, through the apparel kids wear every day.
Here at SquadLocker, we want you, your student body, and your staff to look fabulous, so we’ve got some tips on how to choose the right provider for your school uniforms.
Here are the 6 things to keep in mind when looking for a school uniform provider, but read below for details:
- 1. Brand Management
- 2. Quality
- 3. Ability to sample
- 4. Comprehensive convenience
- 5. Reputation
- 6. Are they a just a vendor or a true partner?
1. Brand management
Many school administrators used to simply establish a dress code, then designate a local retail store or two and allow parents to shop for themselves. You can still do that. It accomplishes your primary goal -- students will all be wearing apparel that meets your standards.
But it seriously limits your ability to meet another vital school goal – community branding. Everyone looks “uniform,” but they could be from almost any school. Besides, thanks to COVID-19, in-store shopping is now a challenge instead of a convenience.
You can make a much bigger impact by choosing a provider that can customize your uniform components with school-specific decoration. Not just clothes that match, but clothes that carry your logo, official colors, etc. Branded apparel inspires and reinforces sense of belonging within your school community and makes a strong statement about your school to the wider community.
However, branding is just the beginning.
2. Quality is critical
School uniforms are a big investment, especially for families with multiple children. Affordability is a consideration for your school, too. But saving money on poor quality apparel is ultimately more expensive. It can fade or lose its shape after a few washings. It won’t hold up under daily wear and tear (we’re talking kids, here). And the fit and feel won’t be comfortable.
It’s bad enough that kids outgrow their clothes at warp speed. Parents shouldn’t have to replace uniforms because they flunk the functionality test. Quality uniforms get straight As – they will perform well and look smart doing it.
At SquadLocker, you can stock your online store with top-quality school uniform brands, at great prices, without having to place bulk orders. (That said, we can help with bulk orders, too, if needed.)
3. Ask for samples
No words or photos can adequately convey the actual color, feel or “presence” of fabric or finished garments. When you’re shopping for yourself, in-store or online, you can always reject the item if it doesn’t meet your expectations and return it. Not so with school uniforms.
You’re shopping for everyone, and they will have to live with whatever you pick. You want the best!
4. Comprehensive convenience
Your students, staff and families need more than wear-to-class uniforms. You need PE clothes, staff apparel, official leisure wear such as tees or sweatshirts for field trips and outdoor events, uniforms or team wear for sports and clubs, and let’s not forget spirit wear for all!
Having to purchase these items from a plethora of separate providers is time-consuming, confusing, frustrating – and completely unnecessary. At SquadLocker, we have you covered from end to end, so you can offer all-in-one shopping convenience for mandatory and optional uniform components and everything else your folks need, from headwear to accessories.
Every item custom decorated in your unique way.
As a school admin, you know that reputation is the foundation of your brand. That’s true for school uniform providers as well. It’s easy to research online to learn about companies you are considering, but look beyond reviews and ratings:
- Ask about how they work, and how flexible they can be.
- What kind of custom decoration options do they offer?
- How quickly do they turn around orders for delivery?
- What additional services do they offer? For example, our SquadLocker graphic design team provides free help with logo design and touch-ups.
That being said, we don't mind if you look at our reviews anyway!
6. Are they a vendor or a partner?
It’s no piece of cake being the person responsible for uniform management at your school, and the more children your school serves, the more complicated the process becomes. The planning. The paperwork. The accounting, if you currently purchase uniforms or spirit wear in bulk and then sell it at your school store(s).
With SquadLocker, you get a dedicated account executive – a working partner who is your personal contact. Someone who:
- Knows you and understands your school and your goals
- Can answer all your questions
- Will help set up and tailor your store to fit the needs of your school and families
- Will make proactive, ongoing suggestions about new merchandise or store promotion tips such as using your store for fundraising.
You get more than quality uniforms and a streamlined ordering process. You get a store that can generate multiple benefits for your school, in terms of parent experience as well as increased revenue.
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