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Back-to-school record for class of 2010

Supermarket chains Tesco and Asda have reported their best ever back-to-school season after aggressive price promotions and design tweaks to schoolwear ranges helped drive sales.

George at Asda started offering a “week’s worth of uniform for £10” on June 3, two weeks earlier than competitors’ promotions, and claimed it sold two units per second in the first week.

“Our design teams have developed a school uniform range that we think is exactly what kids and mums need,” George at Asda brand director Fiona Lambert told Drapers.

Tesco said it had its “biggest ever back-to-school” season this year. Richard Jones, commercial director, UK clothing and home, put the performance down to improvements to the quality and choice of its schoolwear offer. It continues to offer a full school uniform for £12, including adjustable waists and sealed hems.

Sainsbury’s also reported “good figures” for its back-to-school range and said it sold 250,000 polo shirts, which were sold in packs of three starting from £2 for three to five year olds. Sainsbury’s overall uniform sales were up 25% year on year for the period from July 28 to September 8.

The BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor revealed that clothing sales rose in August, boosted by strong back-to-school trading.

Verdict Research retail analyst Maureen Hinton said: “Quality is more of an issue now, as retailers can’t differentiate so much on price.” She added that the rising birth rate had increased demand for uniforms.

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