As September gets closer, it’s time to kit-out the little ones with Back to School must-haves to start the new term in style.
We spoke to retailers at the Quadrant Swansea, to understand the products that come top-of-class; from shoes, bags, and lunchboxes, to stationary sets and books.
Step it up for School
Dawn, store manager at Clarks, shares her tips on buying the perfect school shoes:
“Finding the right school shoes is so important. It’s all about comfort and durability. Little ones spend all day in their school shoes, and they need to be happy and comfortable whether they’re walking to school or running on the school yard.
“Our most popular shoes include:
“Our Black patent shoes. These are our most hard-wearing shoes. We even have patent restorer pens which will make your shoes look as good as new.
“Our ‘Find It’ shoes are very popular, as they have toys hidden in the heel. Lots of parents feel nostalgic when they see these as they’re so similar to the Magic Step shoes from the 90s.
“Dinosaur imprint shoes are a huge hit too, little ones love seeing their dinosaur imprints in sand and mud.
“The mix of trainer and smart shoe is also very popular. They’re easy for the kids to get on and off and comfortable for all activities.
“We have a great selection of rubber bumper shoes too which are very hardwearing. If you have exceptionally busy little ones, these are a great choice.
“Parents love our trainer range too. They’re all non-marking soles, so they won’t leave marks on the school hall floor. They also have breathable lining, so they keep odours at bay and most importantly, every design is machine washable.
“Since the pandemic, we ask our customers to book a slot online in advance, so they get the best possible experience with us. For any little ones that find bright lights and loud noises overwhelming, we also offer quiet fittings from 9am – 9.30am and 5.30pm-6pm every weekday- just call up to make an appointment.”
Kirsty, Senior Cast Member at the Disney Store, shares her must-have Disney bag styles:
“The most popular back-to-school items in store are our backpacks and matching lunchboxes.
“We have so many designs to choose from but our most popular are the Animator and Raya bags- they’re flying off the shelves.
“The Animator bags are so popular because they feature all the main Disney Princesses, which will never go out of fashion.
“Mandalorian products have been a huge hit too – mainly down to Grogu or baby Yoda.
“Other popular products are our insulated lunchboxes, which keep sandwiches cool until lunchtime. They even fold away neatly when empty – making it super easy to pop them in a backpack.
“We’ve even upgraded our water bottles and they now have thermal insulation which will help keep water cool all day long.”
Jon, Store Manager at The Works, shares his favourite stationery sets:
“Sorting your stationery is always one of the best things to do before heading back to school. Finding the perfect pencil case, notebook and stationary sets are big decisions for kids.
“Being prepared for what the school year will bring is also so important, which is why our Helix Oxford sets are always so popular. You get everything you need in one case from a pencil, rubber and ruler to protractor, compass and set square; your maths teachers will be impressed that your come prepared with this set.
“But it’s not all about the prep, it’s about having fun with it too. Our most popular pencil cases are the Pringle tube cases, which take a lot of parents back to their own school days. The same with our Harry Potter sets, and for just £6 you can get a Harry Potter stationary wallet which has everything you could possibly need for your school bag.
“We also have our own-brand stationery sets that are excellent value for money. You can buy a pack of 12 ball point pens or pencils for a £1 and we have some great designs.
“Getting everything ready for school can be expensive and we’re proud of our huge range in store, that can suit any budget.”
Revision Ready with WHSmith
As well as a huge selection of stationery, bags, pencil cases and notebooks, WHSmith has all the curriculum approved, revision essentials for ages 3-18.
Stocking everything from CGP, Collins, and Bond revision books to help with SATS, GCSE and A-Levels, to a huge selection of books for primary school children.
Whether your little one wants support with maths, mental arithmetic, phonics or spelling, there is something for everyone.
Other retailers at the Quadrant with great back-to-school products include Superdry, JD Sports, Trespass and Schuh.
The Quadrant is open Mon-Sat from 9am to 6pm and from and all-day parking is available at the Quadrant car park for just £2 when you arrive after 9.30am. Travelling to the city by bus is also totally free Fri-Mon until August 30 – so it couldn’t be easier to head into town for your back-to-school essentials.