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    Parker School Uniforms...cut from a different cloth

     

    Since 1931, we've been doing our best to be the best... for every customer, every time. That's the cut of our cloth.

    Troy Pike, President/CEO:  Parker surely is a service company, not a uniform company. We start with the customer and end with the customer. Everything that we design has that end customer in mind so they can focus on education.

    Mike Porter, Vice President - Sourcing:  We're tailoring different silhouettes; whether it would be a jumper, a skirt, a culotte, a blouse, a polo shirt, there's pants and shorts, micro-fleece. We have sweaters, oxford shirts; but, we've got a variety of products for almost any school situation.

    Troy Pike:  From a school's perspective it certainly helps them market their school.

    Mike Porter: We will go to the ends of the earth to find the fabric, to find the best value proposition for the construction of the garments, for the lead times, for everything. 

    Troy Pike: Our goal really is to let the customer deal with us in their way of choice, in their channel of choice. If they want to buy online we make the tools available for them to know how to fit clothes. It's not a consumer-grade product that you wear for a season or a few months and throw out. This has got to be a durable item that's going to have hand-me-down type quality; so it has to be really almost industrial strength. At the same time we're talking about kids, and kids who want to have comfort and run and play and really don't want to think about what they have on. So we've done a number of things with our uniforms, making them cotton-rich, but also having fibers that allow them to repel stains and keep their shape extremely well. 

    We have more boots on the ground than any other company in this business. We have sales reps who go and call on these accounts and are in these schools every single day of the year. We have more stores and more people than any of our competitors, and we invest in more inventory.

    Hi, welcome to Parker.

    I need to get some school shirts.

    What school?

    Houston Christian

    Troy Pike:  If you come into our store, and we don't have what you want, we will find it, we will make it, and we will ship it to you for free. So we will get you in clothes, and you know, it's our commitment that every student is going to have a quality well-fit uniform on the first day of school. 

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    School Branding with Parker School Uniforms

    School branding works because school uniforms instill pride.

    They help students feel like they're part of something important, and worthwhile. They foster school spirit, and they build unity. Rather than sorting themselves into cliques and groups through "fashion statements," students who wear uniforms can better see and appreciate one another as equals, and come together more readily as a cohesive community.

    Lucia Boss, Director of Product Development & Quality Assurance:  Every school is like having a unique client. Every product that we do is unique to them, whether it's a monogram or a silhouette, or a fabric, or a trim.

    It's almost like a color-form kind of perspective. We can kind of piece together a whole collection for them. How will these kids be wearing it, what is the function of it. A lot of our schools really have an approach of a branding perspective, so it's understanding what their perspective is, and then building the collection for them.

    Let's lower the armhole like a good three-eighth, and just kind of scoop into nothing at the across-front, it would give her better rotation once the blouse is on.

    "Monogram came out really nice. I like how it came out."

    Lucia: One of the things that we love about this particular part of the board is that there is sort of a uniqueness. One of the things that is important about school apparel is that it doesn't look boring in everyday, and that's one of the things that we kind of trend-watch, is to see what's happening at retail level. It's little things that you can do to a garment that specialize it, that make it unique for the school and make it unique for Parker. 

    School Branding with Parker School Uniforms

     

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    School uniforms In stock... behind the scenes with Parker

    Social responsibility for education is the bottom line at Parker

     

     

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    School uniforms In stock... behind the scenes with Parker's 

     

    School uniforms are in stock at Parker School Uniforms. This video is a behind the scenes look at how do they do that... 

    Clay Pike, President/CEO:So this is the mysterious Parker back room.

    People often ask, you know, "Why we don't have a self-serve front of the store?"

    The reality is because we have so many items back here, we literally have tens of thousands of SKUs back here that are uniquely customized to individual schools and their exact needs. We have some things like a blue oxford, for example, or this Peter-Pan blouse that, you know, can just be worn without a logo; but, the majority of the product that we actually deal with is customized specifically for the school, to manage and to meet the school's branding expectations, and to help them better manage the student population.

    It's incredibly surprising how many different colors of blue there are in the world. If you buy pants from five or ten different places and wash them a few times, you will see there are a hundred different colors of blue.

    We have just a zillion different plaids, and all kinds from jumpers for the little bitty kids, to skirts for the big girls, and it's a wide range. So we have to be able to fit every child, and so we carry something of everything for every single child in here.

    So here in back we have all of our custom schools. Items we might pull slightly less often, so they're not as close to the front. But here's something, this is Clay Road Baptist School. We're the only company in, you know, the school uniform industry, that pre-embroiders the vast majority of our goods. In fact, we keep almost two years supply on hand of many of these garments, so that when you walk in the store you get to walk out with merchandise. You can try on two or three sizes, see what you like, and carry it out the door. In many cases, other companies will have you buy the garment, then they will take it away and monogram it, and have you come back to pick it up.

    Another thing that we do, the reason we have so much inventory in stock, is that our commitment to our schools is that we will have it in stock, in your size, or we will ship it to your home for free. Again, we're the only company in the industry that has that guarantee.

    So we invest a lot in our inventory, we want to be sure that the schools get the service that they are expecting, and that the families are happy, and get to carry their merchandise home.

     

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    Social Responsibility | ParkerSU.com | Parker School Uniforms

     

    Social Responsibility is serious business at Parker, because we believe we can do well and do good... building a strong business while also making a positive contribution to our world.

    There are three responsibilities we take especially seriously...

    1. First is the responsibility to be good stewards of our environment.
    2. Second is our responsibility to support humane working conditions and fair labor practices.
    3. Finally, we have a responsibility to our communities. 

       

    Troy Pike, President/CEO:      We take the clothing question off the table at our schools. It's really kind of cool to see these little toddlers, especially, who go to these pre-K schools, and you know, when they put their uniform on they're so proud. I mean they're like a big kid, all of a sudden going to school and they know to behave differently.

    Mike Porter, Vice President - Sourcing:     What we're trying to do is to provide uniforms to kids to keep their minds focused on school; not on what's the latest fashion, or the latest logo, or how much did you pay for something? We don't want the kids thinking about what they have to put on in the morning and judging each other when they get there to school. They typically allow the childrens' minds to focus on  the school environment, the learning environment, and to me that's probably unspoken value proposition of school uniforms.

    Troy Pike:     The way that we look at is we have a responsibility to that school and to every child in that school to be in a quality well-fit uniform on the first day of school. 

    Mike Porter:     Uniforms are way, way beyond just how do I look and whatever. They're about how do I feel, they're about how do I learn, they're about how I interact with my community.

    Troy Pike:      I think the relationships that we have with our schools and with the families in our schools is what has made us a special company, and that's what makes us a partner as opposed to a vendor. You know, we're involved in the day-to-day happenings at a school, so we help sponsor golf events, if they have a child in need we provide scholarship uniforms for those children in need. It's something that is one of our core principles, as a business, is that we support schools. 

     

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