How we saved LTPA Parents £6,000

Update: On closer inspection the competition haven't actually lowered the cost all LTPA uniform, as we've written below.  They are still considerably more expensive when it comes to Lime Tree's tie, one of the most popular items. Even so, we still stand by our beliefs - more choice for parents helps to drive down prices.

 

During the Summer of 2019 we approached Lime Tree Primary Academy with a simple offer. We wanted their blessing to sell school uniform to children attending LTPA (or at least to their parents 😉).

At the time only one uniform retailer was selling Lime Tree uniform, meaning that retailer was free to charge parents whatever they wanted.

By adding us as a supplier we'd double the choice for parents.

The leadership team at LTPA were willing to give us a shot so they met with us on a couple of occasions to hear us out.  During those meetings we showed them our pricing (see below), pointing out that we thought we could be cheaper than the other guys on every item of Lime Tree uniform that counted.

The school agreed that it made sense and approved us an official supplier of Lime Tree Primary school uniform.

 

Owl & Badger Price

Competitor Price (Early 2020)

Owl & Badger cheaper by...

Polo Shirt

£6.50

£7.50

15%

Nursery & PE Sweatshirt

£9.95

£10.95

10%

Cardigan (ages 5-10)

£16.95

£19.95

18%

Pullover (ages 5-10)

£16.95

£17.95

6%

Cardigan (ages 11+)

£17.95

£22.95

28%

Pullover (ages 11+)

£17.95

£20.95

17%

 

We also explained that we thought giving parents more choice would in the long run drive down pricing and improve availability.  You can read a bit more about how we think competition helps here, if you like.  Put simply, if the other retailer wanted to keep at least some of LTPA’s uniform business they would have to bring down the prices to remain competitive.

What we didn’t expect is quite how quickly prices would drop.

Early in March we noticed that our competitor had reduced its prices to match ours! Within months of Owl & Badger offering a fair price for uniform, the competition had been forced to extend that pricing to their own offering.  Admittedly they are still a bit more expensive – for example, they don’t appear to be running an Early Bird Offer or helping Pupil Premium families – but it’s a start.  Overall parents at Lime Tree are saving and just in time for the ‘Back to School’ rush!

We feel this is an excellent illustration of how competition helps parents.  When schools allow parents more choice and availability, those parents benefit by uniform prices being driven down.

Piggy Bank Lower School Uniform Prices

How much do all those savings add up to?

Working out exactly how much has been saved will always be reliant on estimation and we can’t give an exact figure.  However, we feel that the below assumptions are fair.

First of all we started by looking at what each child might be bought.  If each child is bought few cardigans or pullovers, a school tie and the school bag, as well as a couple of sets of P.E. kit (one for use and a spare set), the saving is around £13 per child on items we sell.  Obviously, the savings keep going up if you buy more school uniform.

While the exact amount differs between older children and younger children or whether you are buying pullovers or cardigans (we never understood why uniform should be more expensive for girls!), over the whole student body the differences should even out.

What’s important is that now everyone benefits from the reduced pricing, whether you buy from Owl & Badger or stick with the retailer who has been overcharging you for years.

So for the approximately 450 kids that will be purchasing school uniform this Summer, their parents will cumulatively save £5,850.  If parents buy more uniform than the minimums we used in our calculations, that figure is well over £6,000.  Not a bad result!

So what do we do now?

If you are a parent at Lime Tree you can help us keep prices low and drive prices down further in the future by buying your uniform from Owl & Badger this year.

If you aren’t a parent at Lime Tree and would like to see prices come down at your school, then get in touch.  We’re always looking to offer our great prices to more schools and we’d love to talk about helping your community.

Whatever you do, you can sit back safe in the knowledge that we’ve saved Lime Tree parents a few quid this Summer.