School Open Days Begin!

Well, back to school starts in earnest for us this week, we have the first of our open days at schools! We love this time of year, it is manic as we are in the shop and dashing out to schools sometimes doing up to 6 open days in a day which is a logistical challenge – feel like we bump into ourselves coming back sometimes!

Every open day is different so we have to plan differently but the main aim is to introduce A Class Apart to every new parent and let them know where we are and what they need. It doesn’t matter if your child is just starting Reception, Nursery or High School, it can be daunting prospect for the child and the adults! We certainly do don’t a hard sell and tell parents that they need 5 of everything! We would rather provide excellent service, be realistic with parents as to what they need to get through the week and we know our products are excellent and durable so hopefully, parents will recognise that and will come back to us year after year. We would rather a long term customer relationship than a rip you off and never see you again approach! We also work with the schools throughout the year and have a good relationship with everyone and ensure that all the uniform is approved by school before we sell it.

With High School open days, we need to take about half the shop with us! Because the catchment areas are wider, some parents do like to buy on the night and get it over and done with. To be honest, it’s not ideal as the events are always manic as we don’t feel we can dedicate the time we would like with parents but that is what we are there for. Generally, the majority of customers that we see place orders to collect from the shop which means the child can try it on when it’s calmer and they have the privacy of a changing room! It’s also a baptism of fire for the temporary summer staff as it does resemble a jumble sale at times! It is interesting for us as we get to sit through the Head Teacher speeches at most schools which helps us when talking to parents.

Primary schools we don’t need to take as much stock or staff as badged uniform isn’t compulsory and parents generally wait until the summer holidays before coming in to sort it out. That is great for us as we can make a fuss of the little one starting school and it’s fab seeing their faces when they try on their uniform for the first time, they are so proud and look so grown up. Obviously, we also have the ones that aren’t so keen and suddenly become very shy. We don’t want them to feel overwhelmed so are happy for Mum or Dad to buy what they think is the right size and take it home and try it on where the child feels more relaxed, if it doesn’t fit, they can always bring it back and swap it.

I set this business up in 2004 and have to say I love it, I love seeing the little ones starting in Nursery or Reception as much as talking to the 11 years olds starting High School. I have seen hundreds of children growing up over the last 13 years, some of the first children we served who were starting primary school are now doing their A levels! Now that does make me feel old!