Frequent School Uniform Questions
How Do I Get School Uniforms?
We carry your uniform year-round which means you can order (or buy) any item you need, at any point in the year. However, for the "back to school" season, we ask you to plan ahead and follow our ordering guidelines so that we have enough time to manufacture all the unique items which make up your School Uniform.
There are 5 ways to order your uniforms.
There are 3 ways to get your uniforms.
When should I order School Uniforms during the "Back to School" season?
We ask that you to order (otherwise known as layaway) your uniforms as early as June 15th each year. We offer a few incentives hoping that you will take advantage of; including a 20% discount on your layaway as well as FREE alterations.
The biggest concern parents have regarding ordering by June 15th is that they feel their student will grow over the summer. We know this and plan for this. All orders can be adjusted as necessary to ensure correct fit. When you place an early order, we both have everything to gain, and nothing to lose.
Is there a deadline to order uniforms?
Yes. The Order Deadline for "Back to School" service is July 31st! Of course we service year round and we will fill orders whenever we get them. But the deadline is an important reminder that orders placed in August, literally a couple weeks to a few days before school starts, are late. Ordering late does not give Donnelly's, our mills, our manufacturers or our delivery services enough time to make, package and deliver uniforms in time for back to school. Although there are generic items, like tops and bottoms that are pretty easy to keep in stock all the time, remember that most uniform items are custom made or custom decorated. Donnelly's is the best in the business, but even so, we need time to produce these custom items. There is a 10% discount incentive for orders placed by July 31st.
I missed my in-school fitting and the early order deadline, now what?
No problem, you can still order and get uniforms in time for back to school, but there may be some backordered items. Be advised that each week after June 15th our stores and phones get busier. The longer you wait to order, the longer you will wait for your order. This may sound cliche, but it fits. As the summer progresses, dozens of customers per day turns into hundreds per day and then into thousands per day.
Are my Uniforms In-Stock?
Donnelly's carries the largest inventory in the northeast. Even so, most school uniform programs have some very unique items which are difficult to keep in stock if we get late orders and run out of something. The most unique items are jumpers and skirts, but shortages are not limited to these items. Think about your school uniform. Anything which is monogrammed or custom made can fall into the same category.
Our Rhode Island location is our main warehouse and distribution center. This location feeds our satellite locations as well as handles all school, phone and web orders. Rhode Island has the most inventory. Our satellite locations have inventory for schools in their local area, however, it is important to remember that it is impossible to carry enough unique product at a satellite location to satisfy large volumes of late shoppers. Give yourself enough time -so that we have enough time to fill and deliver your order.
What is the Best Ordering Strategy?
The best strategy is to place a layaway order before June 15th and then pick up your order later in the summer. We offer many ways to place your order early; in-school fitting, phone, mail, in-store and online. In addition, we offer incentives to place your order early which will save you time and money.
I'm a last minute shopper (or I just registered* in school), what are my options?
Although the last few weeks of the summer are extremely busy, know that we are working hard every day to take care of your needs. That said, lets look at some good options to help make your experience as easy as possible.
Ordering online and choosing home delivery is the most convenient method. If you are unsure of your sizes, consider ordering different sizes and then return the unnecessary sizes later. We have a pretty liberal return policy and you will get a full refund on your return as long as your product is in re-sellable condition. (ie, don't wash or alter them!)
Ordering online and choosing store delivery is a good option too. It is 5 times quicker to service you in-store when an order is pre-packaged compared to starting from scratch. If you are unsure of your sizes, take your best shot and then try on your items in store. We'll swap sizes that are not right. Allow 3 days before you visit Rhode Island after an on-line order; 5 days for all other locations.
Visiting our Rhode Island location. Rhode Island is our main warehouse and distribution center. Because this location carries the most inventory, you will leave this store with the most product and the fewest backorders. PLEASE NOTE: All stores and phones are extremely busy the last few weeks of summer. Please be patient and cooperative because working within our system will get you what you need the quickest. The best way to avoid crowds is to order by June 15th each year.
* If you are a late registrant in your school, we recognize that you have not had the opportunity to order early as we would have preferred. Please feel free to inform your Donnelly's rep that you just registered in your school. Although this knowledge can't make an item exist if it is backordered, but it does help us set manufacturing priorities.
Why is it so busy in the stores and on the phone?
We are a "Back to School" company. Although we provide many opportunities to order early, unfortunately, more customers choose to wait until the last 10 to 15 days of the summer to start their school uniform transaction with us. We service roughly 1/3 of our whole years business within these 2 weeks. Although we prepare for the surge, it is a challenge to have enough staff and physical space to manage the dramatic increase during this short time frame. Many of our part-time employees are school teachers as well as college and high school students. These people start to leave us at the end of summer which adds to the situation. To avoid the crowds, simply take care of your business with us as early as possible. No matter how early you order, and no matter how much your student grows, we will get you into the correct sizes.
Is it better to wait until September to get uniforms?
If you have enough items to start the school year, sure, waiting until September or October can be a good strategy. Keep in mind that after Labor Day our inventory is at it lowest levels for the year and our seasonal staff is gone.
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