Belfast Telegraph

Schools web-shops creator aims to slash cost of new uniforms

By Clare Weir

A Lisburn clothing company which creates web-shops for schools and sports clubs is taking on six new staff and broadening its distribution network to export across Ireland.

Founded in 1994, Reach EPS supplies uniforms, screen printing and embroidery services to organisations in the public and private sector, with clients including Coca-Cola, local football teams and even chip shops.

Recently, the firm set up a service for schools and clubs called ourschooluniform.com, which enables them to set up web-shops specifically designed to sell their individual uniforms.

Parents can benefit from a reduction of up to 20% in cost versus high street prices and schools receive 10% from each item sold on their online shops.

The clothing firm has already established 70 web-shops for schools throughout Northern Ireland and is hopeful of adding a further 40 to its network this coming year.

The news comes just days after the Belfast Telegraph revealed that back-to-school costs that have more than doubled since the 1980s.

New research has shown that the price of equipping an average child for study – including uniforms, stationary and gadgets like iPads and mobile phones – will have hit the £550 mark come September.

Reach EPS secured a £200,000 loan from the Growth Loan Fund which will enable the firm to expand through investment in IT systems, new machinery and working capital requirements.

Chris Leitch, managing director, said: "Online retailing is a growing part of our overall strategy and our ourschooluniform.com concept and we are delighted with the response from our growing customer base.

"It really is very simple, our school web-shops save parents money and each school makes money from every sale.

"As long as we stay true to that principle we will continue to grow."

Belfast Telegraph

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