Sainsbury’s is the cheapest place to buy school uniforms while Next is the most expensive at more than double the price, according to research.
Consumer group Which? analysed the costs of a selection of essential school uniform items for nine-year-olds at eight supermarkets and clothing retailers.
The items included two each of pinafore dresses, polo shirts, skirts, sweatshirts, boys’ trousers and girls’ trousers.
The group said its research showed that at a time when household budgets are being “battered by an unrelenting cost-of-living crisis”, money will go further at some retailers than others.
Which? said Tu Clothing at Sainsbury’s was the cheapest, costing a total of £47.
At Next, the same selection cost £102, the group said, although it noted that due to some of the items being sold individually rather than in multipacks, it had to double the price of a single item to allow for comparison.
Second-cheapest was Morrisons, costing £48.95, followed by George clothing at Asda, F&F Clothing at Tesco, Matalan, Marks & Spencer and John Lewis’s Anyday range, Which? said.
The consumer group said Morrisons and Tesco prices were shared directly with Which? on July 26, while they checked the prices of items from the rest of the retailers on August 9.
The group said its analysis focused only on the prices of items, rather than any differences in the quality, comfort or durability.
Aldi and Lidl were also cited as selling cheap uniforms, but were not included in the Which? analysis as the group said the supermarkets tend to have “special buy” deals which sell out quickly and are generally not restocked.
Ele Clark, Which? retail editor, said: “School uniforms don’t come cheap – especially if you have to buy them for more than one child. Household budgets have been battered by an unrelenting cost-of-living crisis, but our latest research shows some retailers will help your money go further than others.
“Parents and guardians can also save money by buying second-hand, opting for multipacks, choosing longer-lasting options such as trousers with a hem that can be let down, and of course, keeping an eye out for special offers.”
In June, a charity warned that parents were still having to spend “exorbitant amounts” on school uniform despite changes introduced last year aimed at keeping costs down.
The Children’s Society said its research suggested parents and carers of secondary school children were paying on average £422 per year on uniform, and around £287 for primary school children.
It said the high costs were partly due to the requirement from some schools for branded items which have to be bought from specialist shops rather than supermarkets or high-street chains.
A Department for Education spokesperson said at the time that it expected schools in England to comply with its uniforms guidance – which requires schools to keep branded uniform items to a minimum and allow more high-street options – by September.