UK girls skirt around issue

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 August, 2005, 12:00am

GIRLS' SCHOOL trousers have out-sold school skirts this year for the first time ever in Britain, and if the trend continues, school skirts could be a thing of the past.

British family retailer Woolworths said that sales of school skirts at its 800-plus outlets have plunged by 51 per cent in just three years - while school trousers have enjoyed a surge in popularity.

'If the decline continues at its current pace, skirts could be a thing of the past in schools by 2017,' Woolworths schoolwear buyer Rhian Jones said. 'Trousers are more practical because they are suitable for all types of weather, and at schools with a large mix of cultures, trousers are almost a universal dress.'

Back in 2002, Woolworths' sales of skirts in its primary and secondary school ranges stood at an overwhelming 98 per cent.

This year, however, trouser sales rose to 52 per cent, with skirts accounting for the rest.

Despite the swing, Woolworths expects to sell more than 100,000 school skirts this year, priced at GBP4.66 ($65.58) - two pounds cheaper than the trousers.