What happened with Parker Uniforms?

Longtime vendor goes bankrupt; schools search for replacement

Get ready to say goodbye to this label. Photo by Genevieve Hurst.

On January 3, Parker Uniforms, which had been in business since 1931 and which had provided uniforms for more than a thousand schools across the country, including Jackson Prep and several other schools in the Jackson metro area, announced that it was shutting down all of its operations. The sudden closure of the company’s physical stores as well as its online offerings came as a surprise to most customers.

The company had been running low on money for several months and was forced to declare bankruptcy, leaving those who had placed orders not yet completed in a bind, unsure if they will receive reimbursement. Additionally, any new Prep student who transferred before the second semester and did not yet have uniforms was forced to go to a school swap shop instead.

Upon receiving the news of Parker’s closure, many Prep students were enthused at the possibility of having no more school uniforms or, at the very least, being allowed to wear (legally) their Mountain Khakis instead of the much-criticized Parker pants. However, for the remainder of this year, the uniform policy will continue to be the one in place currently, meaning Parker uniforms will continue being worn.

Having said this, if a student suddenly hits a growth spurt of four inches in a two month time period and his pants no longer fit, Interim Head of School Mr. Denny Britt has said that there would be a possibility, if communication is made, of a student wearing a different brand of khaki pants as long as they were of similar color and style to Parker’s. Families should consult the school if such a situation arises.

As far as the uniform provider going forward, the school is currently interviewing nine different uniform companies, most of which do not yet have store locations, leaving the possibility that in coming years students will do their uniform shopping solely online instead of going to an on-site location.

Once one of these nine is chosen, there will most likely be a transition period, likely one year and no more than two, during which Prep students can continue to wear Parker’s clothing instead of being forced to buy entirely new uniforms. However, once this period is up, the new uniforms will begin to be required to be worn.

Mr. Britt has said that the school plans on sticking with something near the current standard uniform. However, he has said that in the final stages of the process, he will look for input from students for suggestions on the new uniforms.