Why is kitting out your children for school so expensive?

Parents have spent over €20bn educating their young, despite free schooling

Schools won’t start back for more than a month but the lead-in time is long

Schools won’t start back for more than a month but the lead-in time is long

It can’t be back to school time already, can it?
No, not really. Schools won’t start back for more than a month, but as with most everything nowadays - particularly things which involve the spending of money - the lead-in time is long. Some retailers - we’re looking at you Aldi and Lidl - were pushing their back to school ranges at parents almost before schools had broken up. And yes that is kind of like pushing your Christmas stock before the end of the summer holidays and who would do that? Brown Thomas would do that, that’s who. It won’t be long now until you see furious comments appearing on social media about the opening of its Christmas shop. But that is a whole different story.

Why does the back to school season start so early?
There are a couple of schools of thought. The first - and most obvious one - is that retailers will stop at nothing to sell us stuff. If they can get us buying school uniforms and lunchboxes in June they can concentrate on getting us to buy other things in August when we should, by rights, be buying the lunch boxes and school uniforms. Another kinder explanation is that putting the back to school stuff on shelves early helps parents spread the cost of covering their children’s education over several weeks rather than into a couple of panicked and hideously expensive days at the end of August.

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