03 September 2018

It has been a long and glorious summer but now that the holidays are coming to an end, the schools are getting ready to open their doors once again.

Whether the kids are returning to the same school for another year or starting a new one afresh, there is no doubt a list of essential purchases that every parent is currently compiling.

And from lunch boxes to school bags and full uniforms to trainers for their PE kits, the shops in Sunderland are stocked full of items to help make the transition from summer holidays back to school a little bit easier.

Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations at Sunderland BID, is certain that Sunderland delivers everything shoppers need to get children ready for the new academic year.

“The end of August can be a busy time as people race around to make sure they have everything ready for school in September,” said Sharon.

“The city centre has everything shoppers need for school from essentials like shoes and uniform to extra treats like a new school bag or pencil case.

“Getting organised for the academic year doesn’t have to be a chore and by spending a day shopping in Sunderland, the kids will be all kitted out and looking forward to getting started again.”

Many schools have guidelines for school uniform so it is worth checking before heading to the high street, but the shops in the centre have a lot to offer.

For crisp white shirts, smart black trousers and even a pinafore or two, head to Debenhams and Next at the Bridges or Marks and Spencer at High Street West where you will find dedicated school uniform sections in store with plenty of choice.

Or, for older children and teenagers, browse the back to school ranges at New Look and Primark at the Bridges, for uniform they might even be happy to put on in the mornings.

Then, for school shoes, head to Shoezone at High Street West, Deichmann at Crowtree Road or check out Clarks and Schuh at the Bridges.

Fnd a wide choice of pumps and Mary Jane’s for those who want to make the most of the last of the summer weather, or knee-high and ankle boots for those looking towards the colder months.

And check out Trespass at High Street West for a warm coat to see them through the colder weather or Designer Childrenswear at Olive

Home to brands like Burberry, Gucci and Moschino and many more, Designer Childrenswear has an extensive range of coats and accessories for parents wanting to splurge on a particular item.

Whether they will be carrying a stack of books – head to Waterstones at the Bridges for those – or just the essentials, kids will need a bag to transport it all in.

For younger children, Next, Debenhams and Marks and Spencer sell a range of school bags with bright colours, patterns and even their favourite characters emblazoned on the front.

Or, for those who are dealing with fashion conscious teens, head to River Island, New Look, Topshop or JD Sports at the Bridges where they are sure to find a bag that is stylish yet still practical.

And some children dread PE lessons, while for others it is their favourite part of the day – but no matter which category they fall under they will still need a kit.

Find a range of sportswear, trainers and football boots at the Bridges, which is home to JD Sports and Foot Locker, or try the selection at Sports Direct at High Street West.

“No matter their age or what the kids are looking for, businesses in Sunderland offer a wide range of choice when it comes to shopping for school and there’s bound to be something to suit everyone,” said Sharon.


Back to school shopping isn’t just about uniforms and children in Sunderland are spoilt for choice when it comes to stationary, pencil cases and lunch boxes.

For the stationary essentials, Ryman at High Street West ticks all the boxes, while those looking for a bargain should head to Poundstretcher at Maritime Street or Home Bargains at Blandford Street.

Although those who may be looking for pencil cases and stationary to show off to their friends can check out Claire’s, Smiggle, the Disney Store or The Works at the Bridges to find products covered in glitter, bright colours and sequins.

Another way that children can inject a bit of personality into their uniform is by choosing the perfect lunch box.

For youngsters who are fond of a fashion statement, Tiger at the Bridges often has both metal and plastic lunch boxes in a variety of patterns and Wilko at Fawcett Street has a wide selection of lunch bags including ones with a built in cooler.