One of the city's largest second-hand school uniform
suppliers is calling for more donations as some uniform items
become as scarce as hen's teeth.
Salvation Army King Edward St Family Store manager Jane
Orbell said the store had only two boxes of uniforms, nowhere
near enough to meet demand.
''... we don't often have a lot of choice, and some of the
uniform isn't current.''
What was for sale usually disappeared quickly because items
such as school blazers could be up to $200 cheaper than new
ones, Mrs Orbell said.
Most second-hand uniforms did not go up for public sale
because they were being passed on by families to younger
siblings or friends.
School blazers had become hard to find as a result, she said.
Demand for second-hand school uniforms appeared to be
growing, especially as people were looking to buy about the
time credit card payments for Christmas spending came due,
''There's a lot of financial pressure on some parents. Some
schools ask you to buy both summer and winter uniforms, and
it's a huge expense for families with growing children.
''It's a huge outlay, and it's a difficult time. Times are
''People haven't got a lot of money. The gap between those
that have money, and those that are just getting by, is
Mrs Orbell said she had noticed a marked increase this year
in the number of families making alternative arrangements,
such as buying new uniforms and paying them off.
''Families are thinking about how they are going to pay for
them well in advance, because they are so expensive.''
She called for more second-hand uniforms to help the growing
number of families in need.
A spokeswoman for the Princes St branch of the Salvation Army
Family Store said there were no second-hand uniforms in the
store because none had been donated, and the North Dunedin
branch reported it had ''a small selection'' but would like a
Arthur Barnett general manager Sue Smaill said new uniform
sales figures were running in line with previous years.
The department store had had a good start and many people had
been very organised, buying new uniforms as early as November
or December last year, she said.
While some uniform stores around the country had reported an
increase in the number of people putting uniforms on lay-by
or other payment plans, this had not been apparent at the
Dunedin store, she said.
''We don't do lay-bys on school uniforms, but we do give 90
days to pay and they can take the uniform straight away.
''But the number of people taking up the offer is the same as
last year,'' she said.