School Uniforms: Linda LaCerva

Susie McGee
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Linda LaCerva, Sears GMM Vice President, Kids, took the time to answer some questions concerning school uniforms, including the various uniform clothing lines that Sears carries.

How long has Sears been selling school uniforms?

Sears has been a supplier of school uniforms for over a decade. However, the ideology of school uniforms was brought to the forefront when former President Bill Clinton encouraged school uniforms in a 1996 address as a way to improve school safety and discipline in education.

Today over 11 million students are affected by school regulated dress codes and uniforms. About 25 percent of schools participate in an approved schoolwear policy. Couple those statistics with the fact that Sears has a rich history as a family shopping destination, and a heritage of reasonably priced clothing that endures-both in terms of style and durability. It makes our store a compelling story for both back-to-school apparel and, specifically, school uniforms.

What sizes are available in school uniforms at Sears?

Sears carries TKS school uniforms for boys in sizes 4-20, husky and slim. We carry girls clothing, sizes 4-16 and Pretty Plus sizes. All sizes are available year-round online at Sears.com to accommodate growth factors in children and adolescents as well as seasonal dressing.

How much money should parents budget to purchase a school uniform wardrobe for one child?

The typical school uniform purchase amounts to $162.00 per child.

Does Sears special order specific styles and/or colors to meet the needs of local school system requirements?

Yes. Surveys are distributed and phone calls are placed to nearly every school district in the country to determine if each has a schoolwear approved policy. If so, we work with the schools to determine what colors and styles are approved. This information is analyzed and products are distributed to stores near each school with their specific colors and styles.

What are some of the most popular school uniform styles?

Our top styles for boys are wrinkle-free pants and short sleeve pique polos. There has been an increase in short sales for stores located in southern regions and those districts that return to school in early August. The most popular styles for girls are polos and pants, but scooters and jumpers remain very important.

How can parents save money when purchasing school uniforms?

Parents should opt to purchase the majority of necessities for the school year during the peak back-to-school selling period. This is the time when the largest assortments are available and stores are most likely to promote the goods.

Is there any other information that you'd like to share with our readers on this subject?

The school uniform trend continues to grow. Over the past two years, that growth rate has been approximately nine percent. The belief that school uniforms help behavior and lead to higher test scores has been vocalized by several administrations within schools and districts with which we have worked. I believe it's safe to say that school uniforms also help to alleviate both the peer and financial pressures felt by parents and students alike in preparing to go back to school.

Finally, many of the Sears stores now exclusively feature Lands' End apparel. Lands' End chose Sears as its brick and mortar channel to complement its direct-to-consumer retail approach. As you may know, some schools give carte blanche permission to students to purchase school uniforms solely from Lands' End, making it a significant player in the school uniform business in partnership with Sears.

School Uniforms: Linda LaCerva