Hands up, who enjoys back to school shopping? I’m going to be totally honest and not raise my hand. I don’t know why but I can never seem to be organised enough to have it all completely finished and ticked off in good time. Last year I made a brave effort with it being year 7 and Olivia starting secondary school and was pretty much organised due to the shock of the expense. With new school branded blazers and pe kit, it was definitely not something I could put off until the week before term!
For me, one way of making back to school shopping easier is being able to source everything we need in one place.
So when we were invited to the Coliseum Shopping Park in Ellesmere Port to see if we could tick off everything left on our to buy list, I thought why not!
Situated just off the M53 at junction 10, the Coliseum Shopping Park is a regular Friday night after work shopping destination for my sister and me. It is a place we visit frequently and know well and have been able to find exactly what we visited for on past trips. Would this be the case for back to school shopping? Especially super last minute back to school shopping!
As we are restricted with what uniform we can buy and retailers offering the specific clothing we planned our visit to finish up those other little bits every tween/teen needs to have for school.
- Shoes, preferable mary jane style size 6
- Stationery, especially a seemingly endless supply of black pens (although blue is allowed, black is preferred)
- Pencil Case
- Socks, navy blue, knee high
- Hair Bobbles
- PE Kit deodorant (trust me, they need it!)
Would We Find This at the Coliseum Shopping Park?
I know full well from experience, that I could pretty much get most of these items in the shops. With stores like Debenhams, New Look, Next, Sports Direct, Superdrug, Boots, Outfit and H&M to name a few there was a great selection of stores for us to peruse whilst we waited for a hard to please Olivia to make her choice!
In typical fashion, we thought it might be best to check out what each store had on offer before making any purchases. With most stores pushing their ranges, we were able to make a beeline for them almost immediately despite the busy throngs of people appearing to be carrying out the same mission.
Backpacks at JD Sports
I have to be honest and say that as we were looking for more of the accessories side of the back to school shopping list, we had more of a choice of where to buy and what we could buy. Olivia is tall for her age, taller than me pretty much, so this meant that we could utilise both the children’s and the adult’s sections of stores for shoes too.
Primary School Uniform.
Girls School Uniform at New Look, Coliseum Shopping Park.
Although this wasn’t something we were purchasing, Debenhams and Next were both stocked with a variety of different styles for both girls and boys in store. New Look also has a range of uniforms for girls too. I couldn’t help but wish I was still able to purchase uniform as easily as this. Neither stores stock the blouse Olivia has to wear despite my attempts at looking if only to check for size!
School Uniform at Next at the Coliseum Shopping Park
We did, however, manage to pin down a pair of school shoes in Next in the style requested and in a size 6! I was pleased to be able to check this off my list. Whilst in store we also managed to tick off some stationery too and have decided to go with a rose gold theme. I would have loved to get a matching pencil case but I couldn’t find one so I will keep an eye out to see if I come across one before school starts.
Girl’s Black School Shoes from Next
What Else Did We Find?
Thanks to Superdrug we ticked off some new bobbles for Olivia’s hair and a new deodorant for her pe kit. Whilst we didn’t get any new trainers, we did pick up a new backpack in Sports Direct too along with a novelty Llama pen from New Look!
Hmmm…. is a flower headband on the official uniform list Olivia?
Back to School Shopping at the Coliseum Shopping Park.
Despite being regular shoppers here we have never actually visited to buy Olivia’s school uniform before. Had she still been in primary school, this would have been perfect and we could have picked up pretty much everything we needed in one trip. Definitely my idea of a win. But with some careful shopping and looking out for things in unexpected places – we found Olivia’s new stationery in Next in the women’s section, we did manage to pick up most of the things we still had left to buy.
*Top Tip: Check out till points for some fab finds especially stationery and accessories for hair/school bags etc*
Skinny Dip at Outfit at the till points!
If you are still needing to head out for some back to school shopping, there are definitely plenty of stores to visit to be able to get a whole host of back to school items for kids of any age. You can also make a day of it by popping into Costa, Starbucks, Pizza Hut or Burger King to refuel or to finish off your trip. I highly recommend Frappuccinos from both Costa and Starbucks!
*Disclaimer: We were provided with a voucher to help us with our shopping trip on our visit. This post is a collaborative post with the Coliseum Shopping Park*