School Shops FAQ

What are the Shop’s trading hours?

The Shop opens at 07h30 Mondays to Fridays; the shop closes at 16h30 Mondays to Thursdays and it closes at 16h00 on Fridays. On Saturdays, the Shop is open from 08h00 to 12h00.

The Shop is closed on Sundays, on Public Holidays and for advertised short periods in the long school holidays mid-year and at year-end. (Annual closure usually is between mid-December and the first week of January each year).

Who manages the Shop and how do we contact them?

Jerome and Melony are the two managers; they are assisted by Marvina and Warren. They are all employed full time and other temporary staff are employed at peak periods, typically in December and January

Contact Telephone Numbers: 021 689 5708 / 021 659 1970. E-mail:

How best to communicate with the School Shop?

Staff, parents and pupils are always welcome to express their thoughts about any matter directly to the Shop management and staff. To assist, there is a suggestions/complaints/compliments book in the Shop. If no response (or an unsatisfactory follow-up) follows an entry in this book, we welcome direct communication through e-mail or a request for a meeting.

The best e-mail addresses to use are:

Who controls the pricing of school uniform and other merchandise in the Shop?

The Bishops Business Manager has full access to all cost prices and the margin applied to all merchandise stocked in the Shop is capped by agreement. On a quarterly basis, pricing comparisons with other school shops and school uniform retailers are carried out and the comparisons kept on file. The most recent comparisons are, as usual, very favourable and this information is kept by the Bishops Business Manager should there ever be a price query. The Annual Financial Statements of The Shop are kept on file by the Bishops Accountant and the annual gross profit margin is monitored by the Bishops Business Manager.

Who procures and owns the stock?

The Shop owns the stock, currently about R 3.8 million spread over a range of approximately 15 000 items.

What uniforms and merchandise does the Shop stock?

The Shop stocks the uniforms of Bishops (Pre-Prep, Prep and College), Western Province Prep School, Micklefield Girls and Herschel Girls Schools.

Does the Shop make profit?

The primary object of the Shop is not profit but rather a service to parents, staff and pupils. The Shop runs at a modest and reasonable annual profit to ensure sustainability, continuity of service and a convenience when purchasing school uniform and related goods. A monthly payment for use of the premises is paid by The Shop to Bishops and a 25% share of profits is paid annually – all these funds are allocated to the Bishops Bursary Fund.

How does the Shop plan and place its orders for school uniform?

Each quarter, a Planning and Procurement meeting is held. In placing of bulk stock orders, detailed analysis is made of the sales history information provided by the POS system in use at the Shop. Every effort is made to order more than adequate stock quantities. Storage space is limited. Top up orders are made as stock levels dwindle in certain sizes. A major difficulty is exact size trending and forecasting in catering for over 1350 pupils from age 5 to 18. We encourage all to be aware of the challenges in this regard. Whilst a 100% stock record is the ideal, in reality one cannot expect The Shop to have everything, in every size, in stock at all times.

How does Bishops monitor the quality of the product supplied by the Shop?

The Bishops Business Manager meets regularly with the School Shop Management to discuss such matters. We are fully informed of any difficulties which the Shop may encounter in sourcing and supplying the required goods. We know how difficult the clothing and textile industry is, particularly in the current economic climate. There are, on occasions, shortages and instances of poor quality, but we believe no different from other such clothing outlets. The Shop does its level best to provide the best possible quality at a reasonable and market-related price. Some of the difficulties are regrettably caused by Bishops when the Shop is given inadequate notice of an order to be sourced and fulfilled, or inaccurate information on sizing.

How does the Shop and Bishops monitor the quality of service provided in the shop by the Staff?

This can be a vexed question in that the Staff in the shop are often subjected to problems beyond their control. We have regularly heard many compliments as to how they manage; there have been occasional complaints, usually arising from an out-of-stock frustration, damage to an item, or a fabric defect. There are also times of great pressure, particularly at the beginning of term and changes of season. We know that the Shop places huge emphasis on customer service and customer care, including patience, helpful responses and a friendly atmosphere. In turn we respectfully ask that customers are aware of the pressures and at all times display respect and appreciation for what is sometimes a very difficult and thankless task. We regret to have occasionally received complaints from the Shop management about instances of a lack of courtesy from parents/staff/pupils.

What is the Bishops policy for procurement of sports budget items?

All items as approved in the Bishops annual budgets must be sourced through the shop. The Shop is required to quote first and to supply at the agreed order cost. The Shop is tasked to ensure the best price for Bishops. Staff may submit names of potential suppliers and requests for particular brands; they may submit any written quotations to Shop Management. The Shop will better or at worst case meet such quotations on a like-for-like basis. The Bishops Deputy Headmaster is to sign off all Bishops staff clothing allocations.

What about bespoke uniform and kit for tours?

All uniform and branded items for all school tours must be sourced through the shop. The Shop will coordinate all quotations obtained and will better or at worst case meet such quotations on a like-for-like basis.

What is the Bishops policy for sponsored items?

All proposed items must be sanctioned by the Bishops Executive in the first instance, whether normal uniform, other items or sponsored kit for tours etc.

Sponsorship of certain items is allowed and in all instances must go through the School Shop, as the Shop is the preferred outlet - in this way we have certainty that the Bishops Brand is properly controlled. The following are the Bishops guidelines:

  • Bishops must first sanction the items involved, in writing and inform the Shop. Without this step nothing can happen.
  • If an item is to be sponsored, or part-sponsored, the sponsor concerned must liaise with the School Shop. The Shop should get the school’s approval of the design and use of the Bishops Brand. Thereafter, the Shop and the Sponsor should agree on a manufacturer, order the items at the agreed price and set the selling price (if any). Payment to the manufacturer will be made by the School Shop, who in turn will recover from the sponsor or the school if the funds have been paid to the school. The School Shop is mandated to encourage and work closely with any willing sponsor – even for no monetary gain, if that is a particular condition of sponsorship. We are certain that in this way Bishops has the control of its brand.
  • Sponsor’s branding on any merchandise will only happen with the express permission of the Principal.

When is the agreement between Bishops and the Shop reviewed?

The operational agreement is reviewed and updated regularly, in line with Bishops governance and procurement policies. When considered appropriate, the opportunity is given to interested parties to submit a School Shop business proposal to Bishops for consideration by the Business Manager and the School Council’s Finance Committee.