SCHOOL UNIFORM INVESTIGATION COMPETITION COMMISSION CONSENT AGREEMENT
We, Inspired Schools, and the Reddam House Shop participated in an investigation into the price of school uniforms by the South African Competition Commission. The Commission investigated a number of schools at the same time.
The Commission’s investigation revealed that there were changes that could be made to increase competition in the supply of school uniforms, in particular the Commission was concerned about long term exclusive agreements with uniform suppliers or retailers and that this may result in a lack of choice and higher prices. We cooperated fully with the Commission’s investigation.
At the end of the Commission’s investigation, there was no finding that we had contravened the Competition Act and the Commission did not seek a financial penalty from us. However, as part of our ongoing commitment to all families to keep the cost of school uniforms as reasonable as possible; while also upholding the unique brand identity of our school, Inspired agreed, in a settlement agreement with the Commission, to adopt a number of measures that the Commission believes will increase levels of competition in the supply of school uniforms to our families. These are:
School uniform items should be as generic as possible so that it can be obtained from many suppliers; where this is not possible, exclusive items that form part of the basic compulsory uniforms should be limited.
Inspired must have more than one uniform supplier unless it can demonstrate to the Commission that it is not reasonably practical to have more than one supplier.
Any contract between Inspired and Reddam House Shop for the supply of uniforms must not be longer than 5 years.
Inspired must contract with uniform suppliers following a competitive bidding process and must limit the duration of agreements with suppliers.
On 27 February 2019, the Competition Tribunal confirmed that implementing these measures would draw to a close the Commission’s investigation into Inspired. We would like to assure all families that we are actively managing this process with our families’ best interests in mind.