Even as the next academic year is set to commence on May 16, parents are expressing little interest and not all schools have placed orders for uniforms, vendors in Bengaluru say.
Schools and parents are stalling placing orders for uniforms as many believe there are uncertainties in the commencement of in-person classes should the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic begin. In Karnataka, where the positivity rate is around 1.4%, with an active 1,964 cases, the numbers are projected to spike in late May or June, possibly triggering the fourth wave.
Prabhakaran, who manages Deeksha Enterprises, a schools uniform vendor said that even as schools are set to commence after two-years of pandemic-induced closure of schools, not all is well for their business.
“Sales are staggered. Infact, we have cut down on the manufacturing itself. Parents are still waiting to see if offline classes will commence. We take bulk orders from schools. They have told us that they will let us know only in June or July,” said Prabhakaran.
While City’s international, CBSE and ICSE schools have been placing orders to the extent of the pre-pandemic period. Budget private schools are not, uniform vendors explain.
Some vendors also said that with the rise in oil prices, which has resulted in an increased cost of living, the rates of uniforms have been hiked marginally.
George, administrator, Austin clothing, said, “Oil prices have grown so high. That is one reason why many schools are thinking twice. Uniform prices have gone up anywhere between 10-20% depending on the school and the quality of uniforms. We are barely able to make ends meet with the little margin that we get. To make up for this cost increase, some budget schools are opting to compromise on the quality to help parents.” He agreed that sales were not about the usual, with many waiting to place orders.
Manoj Kumar, manager, Kinos Uniforms said, “We are getting just 30 % of the usual response. People have not yet decided whether they want to buy. We gather from many that they want to purchase it if schools resume to their normal functioning for two consecutive months. From schools, we have been getting enquiries. Yet there are very few confirmations. Uniform prices have increased by 20-22%. This is because the prices of raw materials itself have gone up over two years. Maximum schools are changing their designs as new fabrics and designs have arrived in the market.”News, States