PRICES of uniforms in Bulawayo declined marginally, bringing joy to a number of parents who are planning for the beginning of the new school calendar.
A snap survey by Southern Eye yesterday in Bulawayo revealed that a shirt and short for boys is selling at $17, compared to $18 last year, while white Polly shirts were reduced from $11 to $8 and tracksuits are down to $16 from $24. A number of shops that sell uniforms were busy yesterday, as the annual rush to buy uniforms just before schools opened, began in earnest.
Schools open next Tuesday, and the reduction in uniform prices, no matter how marginal, gave some parents reason to smile.
“I remember sometime last year l bought a tracksuit at Toppers for $24 and I was surprised after buying it for $16,” Soneni Siziba, who was buying uniforms ahead of the new term, said.
“I was amused at the reduction in prices because most families overspent during the festive season.”
An official at Toppers said their prices had largely remained stagnant over the past two years, although they had been a slight reduction.
“Our prices have not changed for the past two years, they have remained static,” Eisha Jina, a manager at Toppers, said.
Hassen Esat the managing director at Esat’s, echoed the same sentiments, saying their prices had remained constant over the past few years.
“I can say our prices are cheaper as compared to other shops, where one can get a khaki shirt and a short at $10,” he said.
“We have maintained our prices throughout the year, with some school items costing less.”
However, some parents said they felt short changed by some schools that insisted they buy uniforms from specific shops, saying this created monopolies and pushed prices up.
Due to a liquidity crisis, a number of businesses are forced to reduce prices to attract new customers, but this risks triggering deflation and creating a new economic crisis in the country.