Progressive Preschool September/October 2021

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The For Preschool Products and Retailers TheB2B B2BPublication Publication For Preschool Products and RetailersISSUE 53 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021

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THIS MONTH Follow us at:


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@Prog_Preschool is the new online resource for the preschool product and retail sector. From the publishers of Progressive Preschool Magazine and the organisers of the Progressive Preschool Awards, this Above: The continuing shipping challenges are undoubtedly aportal major talking point for our industry. new website and e-newsflash will provide the very latest news, views, and And while some had so far s summer moves analysis avoidedproduct having to pass on costs to intoacross autumn,the therepreschool customers, others said they had no is still sector. one topic and retail choice but to pass some of it on, which is dominating


Max Publishing Ltd, United House, PreschoRoad, isLondon the new online N7 9DP North resource for the preschool product and retail sector. From the publishers of Progressive T: 020 7700 6740 F: 020 7607 6411 Preschool Magazine and the organisers of the Progressive Preschool Awards, this new website and e-newsflash portal will provide the very latest news, views, and analysis across the preschool product

Copyright 2021. Whilst every effort has been made and retail sector. to ensure the information in this magazine was Launching with an unrivalled email subscriber a correct atbase theof 12,087 timereaders, of going to press, the publishers twice weekly newsflash will land cannot legal liability for any errors or directlyaccept in the inboxes of everyone in this fast-paced industry. omissions, nor can they accept responsibility for A modern, easy to navigate will provide central the website standing of aadvertisers nor any organisation resource for the trade too, offering mentioned inarticles, theantext. news, in-depth industryViews of contributors do not jobs board, retail analysis, digital issues of necessarily reflect those of the publishers. Progressive Preschool, and much much more. All advertising on the website is

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The magazine and awards do a great job in joining the dots between toy, nursery, gift, apparel, publishing, and of course licensing and this digital offering will further enhance our position as a trade media partner that offers a tangible response to advertising investment.

duplicated to each and every newsflash, giving advertisers huge visibility and direct impact to retail buyers. is published by preschool sector experts, for preschool trade experts.

our chats with both exhibitors and retailers which are planning to visit, the chance to get together in-person once is published by preschool sector experts… more is much anticipated. pointing out that trying to absorb While virtual showcases have conversations across the nursery significantly higher shipping costs certainly played their role in keeping and preschool industry. Launching with an unrivalled email just wasn’t sustainable for their business moving over the past 18 The continuing shipping subscriber basethe of 12,087business readers, a are left with so they months, being able to engage face to challenges are undoubtedly little choice. face and get hands on with product biggest talkingweekly point, surpassing twice newsflash will land For their part, retailers seem has been much missed by all sectors even the pandemic, with a lack of directly in the inboxes be understanding of the issue, of the preschool industry. And, containers and significantly inflated oftoeveryone although one of our contributors with product development having pricesinputting pressures on margins this fast-paced industry. admitted that there will be a limit on continued apace during the pandemic, for companies across our sector. modern, easy to navigate this, especially if critical dates are exhibitors are looking forward to WeAasked four senior industry missed – Christmas is, after all, a key showing off their new lines to visitors. executives from the toy, nursery website will provideand a central selling period for everyone and is a Speaking of showing off top apparel and accessories industries resource the trade too, offering finite window. products, we are very close to to discuss how thefor situation was from the shipping revealing the finalists for the impacting on in-depth their businesses in this an Away news, articles, industry challenges, good news comes in the Progressive Preschool Awards 2021, issue, and the response jobs board, retail analysis,form digital of theissues return ofof the Harrogate so make sure you stay tuned to was unequivocal. Nursery Fair in Octobermore. and, from in the coming One told us they were finding Progressive Preschool, and much much advertising on the website is weeks. It’s full steam ahead for that a lot of goods are being duplicated toiseach and every the event, which taking place left sitting at ports waiting to be on Thursday 11 November at the collected and omitted from the The magazine and awards do a great job in newsflash, giving advertisers Grosvenor House Hotel, London. vessel – these products have already between toy, nursery, gift, huge visibility and direct impact After coming through such a beenjoining sold whichthe meandots customers tumultuous time, there is much to are left waiting on orders. Another apparel, publishing, and of course licensing to retail buyers. celebrate for our industry and we said that inflated shipping costs are and this digital offering will further enhance cannot wait to see you all. making it prohibitive to work with certain factories and they our position as a trade media partner that is published are having to look elsewhere to The Progressive offers a tangible response to advertising by preschool sector experts, for source products. Preschool Team Right:investment. The industry is looking Samantha Loveday, Willis, preschool tradeRob experts. forward to face to face meetings at the Jo Pilcher and Katie Roberts-Mason. Harrogate Nursery Fair in October. ADVERTISING AND COMMERCIAL:


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For the latest news visit


EDITORIAL AND CONTENT: 07/09/2021 16:48

The UK’s only baby trade show

Five halls packed with favourite baby brands ... Your chance to get back to business! Don’t miss the FREE show party on Sunday eve - all exhibitors and visitors welcome. See the website for more details!

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Meet The Team

Rob Willis

42 45

Samantha Loveday

Big Interview: Dorel 09 News 24 The The latest updates from across How the nursery brand specialist

Jo Pilcher

24 the preschool industry

13 GfK How the breast feeding market has been performing over the past 12 months

has navigated the challenges of the pandemic and is building into 2022 with a raft of new launches

Event Focus: 26 Harrogate International Nursery Fair

Insights 15 Parents he Big Interview: How there is an increased sense 42 TRainbow Designs of parents and children enjoying playtime activities together as a family unit

Columnist 19 Guest Kids Industries’ Gary Pope

Katie Roberts-Mason

Focus: 45 Sector Developmental Toys Executive Profile 51 Julia Minchin, founder and joint

on how new YouTube rules could have an impact on the preschool industry

Roundtable 20 Industry Four senior executives from

PPS catches up with md Anthony Temple as the company celebrates 50 years

md of Hippychick, in the hotseat

the toy, nursery and apparel and accessories sectors discuss the current shipping challenges

Focus: 55 Event Independent Toy & Gift Show Retailer in Numbers 63 Little Poppets, Sevenoaks, Kent

Gary Freeman

For the latest news visit

05 05_Contents.indd 1

08/09/2021 12:17

© 2019 Rovio Entertainment Corporation and Rovio Animation Ltd. Rovio, All Angry Birds logos and characters are trademarks of Rovio Entertainment Corporation and Rovio Animation Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Avengers © 2019 Marvel. Baby Shark © Smart Study Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Pinkfong® Baby Shark™ is a licensed trademark of Smart Study Co., Ltd. Captain Marvel © 2019 Marvel. Dumbo © 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. Fingerlings® and all product names, designations and logos are trademarks of WowWee Group Limited. Copyright 2016-2019 WowWee Group Limited. All rights reserved. LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Brick and Knob configurations and the Minifigure are trademarks of the LEGO Group. ©2019 The LEGO Group. The Lion King © 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. © MGA Entertainment, Inc. L.O.L. SURPRISE! TM is a trademark of MGA in the U.S. and other Countries. All logos, names, characters, likenesses, images, slogans and packaging appearance are the property of MGA. Mary Poppins Returns © 2018 Disney Enterprises, Inc. Match Attax © TOPPS Europe Limited, 2019. All rights reserved. © 2019 Viacom International Inc. All Rights Reserved. NICKELODEON, NELLA THE PRINCESS KNIGHT are trademarks of Viacom International Inc. © 2019 Spin Master PAW Productions Inc. All Rights Reserved. PAW Patrol and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Spin Master Ltd. Nickelodeon and all related titles and logos are trademarks of Viacom International Inc. Shimmer and Shine © 2019 All Rights Reserved. Nickelodeon, trademark of Viacom International Inc. Spies in Disguise™ and © 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Property of Fox. Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse © 2018 Marvel © 2018 SPA & CPII. © 2019 Super Wings™ All Rights Reserved. The Nutcracker And The Four Realms © 2018 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Secret Life of Pets is a trademark and copyright of Universal Studios. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLC. All rights reserved. DreamWorks Trolls © 2018 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved. TM & © 2019 Ugly Industries Holdings, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Wonder Park TM & © 2019 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

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07/09/2021 12:46




Exhibitors excited to return to Harrogate


here’s a distinct buzz of excitement in the air as exhibitors and visitors are gearing up for this year’s Harrogate International Nursery Fair, taking place from 17-19 October. The show organisers have opened a fifth hall to accommodate a surge in exhibitors, and the

industry is excited to meet in person again. Nicola Barnett, ceo at Kidcentral, said: “We can’t wait, it’s going to be amazing to get to speak to customers face to face and physically show them products.” Luke Burns, general manager at Cybex UK and Ireland, agreed: “Harrogate is set to be our first

Inset: Exhibitors are looking forward to meeting in person again in Harrogate.

show since 2019 and we couldn’t be more excited. We hosted some great digital events throughout the pandemic, but we can’t wait to see our customers, peers and industry friends all in one place again.” Many have been expanding their product offering during lockdown periods and are looking forward to sharing them. Pinky Laing, partnerships and PR manager, Tonies, commented: “We are so excited to show the nursery sector what Tonies has to offer. Over the last year, we have massively expanded our portfolio within the preschool category.” Despite many working hard to showcase products while meeting in person was restricted, most agree that trade shows are a key element in their marketing plans. Emma Scorah, marketing director, Ickle Bubba, said: “We have tried to be as responsive as possible while there has been a lack of physical shows by showcasing our product with a more digital first approach. This has worked well for us, but doesn’t have the same impact as trialling a product and experiencing the brand at a live event.”

New era for CMS Leading maternity brand distributor, CMS has told PPS that its freshly unveiled branding signifies a new era at the company. The new aesthetic reflects the shift into the modern, forward-thinking company that CMS has become, marketing manager Amy Sellers explained. “This is the first major refresh of our brand since the company’s inception over 30 years ago, so we were keen to ensure that our new logo design reflects who we are today,” Amy said. “We pride ourselves on the personable, reliable service we offer so the softer shapes and colour pallet of the new logo have been specifically chosen to convey this approachability and trustworthiness.” The overlapping and coloured shapes in CMS’ new logo creates ‘waves,’ which represent the different

Above and left: The new look marks the first major refresh of the CMS brand since the company’s inception, says Amy.

areas (layers) of the business combined into one - Baby & Maternity Products, Medical Products and NeoNatal Equipment. CMS has enjoyed a solid 2021 so far, Amy confirmed, welcoming four new employees and launching the Temp Pal Bluetooth Smart Thermometer. Plans for a Dreamgenii refresh are also underway, with new content and photography.

For the latest news visit

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Anex launches in the UK


aving been founded in 2012, the Anex brand is now an international company with nearly 900 representative stores in almost 50 countries, and it has now entered the UK with four models of pushchairs. Caroline Pizzey and Max Zapororzhets will lead Anex in the UK, bringing a wide experience in both retail and distribution of children’s products to the company. The pair will be looking to build and develop long-term relationships with retail partners. Anex pushchairs are designed to suit a range of families, combining conceptual design with comfortable ergonomics to meet

the needs of modern families. The brand is offering four models in the UK, including the e/type, m/ type, l/type and Air-X. Nataliia Hrytsiuk, international sales manager, said: “We are on a mission to make parenting cool and we want to help parents all over the world to make their family moments even cooler with products of great quality, functionality and design. “The UK market has great potential for us in this. We have a feeling that Anex products will make a perfect match with British aesthetics and lifestyle. We believe that we have something unique to offer for British parents, to make their strolls with kids a truly enjoyable experience.”

Above: Anex has launched in the UK with four new pushchair models.

Kids Happy House to star in new TV series Children’s product supplier, Kids Happy House is preparing the launch of three new products - The Wipe Box, Tie Teether and Wogey Wand – while being filmed for a TV show with a global subscription network on starting a business during lockdown. The family business which sells direct to consumers via its website – www.kidshappyhouse. – will be looking to partner with distributors and retailers at the show for its new product launches. The husband and wife team, Mark and Natalie Phillips, set up the business almost three years ago as a Left: The Tie Teether is one of three new products that Kids Happy House will be launching.

small selling site for children’s products imported from the US. Just before lockdown Natalie was diagnosed with neurological vasculitis, changing the family’s lives forever. Determined to have something to focus on and keep striving towards their goals, the couple realised their dream of manufacturing their own products. These will now be launched at the Harrogate show, where the team will also be followed by the film crew. Mark commented: “The last year has been totally crazy juggling home schooling, a lifelong illness, a global pandemic and the launch of new products but we wouldn’t change it for the world. We are so excited to meet so many new buyers at Harrogate.”

For the latest news visit

11 PPS News.indd 4

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1971 - 2021

Celebrating 00_PPS September 2021.indd 1

years of the Home of Classic Characters 07/09/2021 11:30


GfK’s insight director, Helen Collins takes a look at how the breast feeding market has performed over the past 12 months.



n the 12 months to June 2021 the baby care market declined by -2% in volume and -12% in value driven by the more premium categories - strollers (-32%) and car seats (-6%). The first six months of 2021 has, however, been more positive with a growth of 12% for car seats and a lessened decline of -2% in strollers driving total baby care value up +6%. A trend seen across the consumer durables market is the shift to online sales. In 2015 just 28.5% of baby care value went through an online transaction. This slowly increased over the next four years to 40% in 2019 and then jumped to 61% in the last 12 months. There are multiple factors here; firstly a number of key baby retailers have closed in recent years which has reduced the options on the high street; more online pure players have started up and many retailers have improved their online offering including upgraded websites, increased choice and better payment and delivery options, then Covid-19 came along. Despite stores now re-opening we don’t expect online sales to fall back to pre-pandemic levels as many consumers’ shopping habits will have changed for good.

ROOM FOR OPTIMISM There is room for optimism though, Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, says. “Consumer confidence edged ahead of its March 2020 pre-lockdown headline score by two points to -7 in July. This means it has now held firm or improved for six months in a row. However, threats from increasing consumer price inflation, rising Covid infection figures, and the looming end of furlough and the Job Retention Scheme could put the brakes on.” "Consumers are aware of these pressures, judging by the latest fall from -2 to -5 in their view of the general economy in the coming 12 months. What happens across the remaining summer months will frame consumer confidence for the rest of 2021 and beyond.” FEEDING TIME Outside of Strollers and Bottles, all other baby markets have seen an increased average price year on year the largest jumps have come from High Chairs (+18%), Monitors (+12%) and Breast Feeding (+12%). The Breast Feeding market has been a strong performer over the last 12 months, growing by 8% in value.

Total baby market decline lessens from -26% in 2020 to -12%. Breast feeding has strong growth across wide range of products Great Britain – Baby Care Value growth %: MAT Jun 21 vs. previous year** -12%

Online share of market value


Total Baby Care

Breast feeding




Value % of Breast feeding MAT Jun 21

Breast Pump: Average price (£) MAT Jun 21 £183



2015 2019 MAT 2021


Collect 21%


Care, Form & Protect


£16 Manual

Total Electric Single Electric Dual Electric

GfK GB PoS Data. All figures in value GBP. **July 2020 – June 2021 vs. July 2019 – June 2020 *Baby Care tracked categories: Car Seats, Highchairs, Stollers, Monitors, Bottles & Teats, Soothers, Teethers, Baby Tableware, Bottle Warmers & Sterilisers and Breast Feeding.

© GfK

The market is made up of five types - ‘care’, ‘form’ and ’protect’ which includes products such as creams, care pads, nipple shields and formers; ‘breast pumps’ which can be electric or manual, single or dual; and ‘collect’ which includes all products dedicated to collect or absorb mother’s milk. Combined, the care, form and protect markets account for 19% of total breast feeding value, growing by 14% year on year with a slight rise of 3% in average price. ‘Collect’ contributes 21% market value and is the only sub segment to decline year on year (-9.5%). Considering the total breast feeding market has grown, this decline isn’t driven by less mothers choosing to breast feed but more likely by mothers being stuck at home during much of lockdown and relying less on building up milk reserves in the freezer. ‘Pump’ is the largest value segment at 60% of total breast feeding and has grown in value by 14% year on year despite declining -1% in volume. There is a broad range of breast pumps in the market. Mothers can choose a manual pump with an average price of £16 but ranging from as low as £5 up to £50, or if they prefer electric, they have the choice of a single pump with an average price tag of £98 or dual with a whopping £183 price attached. New entrants over the last few years have driven up the average price of electric pumps from £70 to £117. Changes to legislation and innovation are consistent drivers in the baby care markets, but with the furlough scheme ending, increased CPI and growing Covid infection rates we’ll have to see where consumer’s priorities for spending lie over the rest of 2021.

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RESEARCH Left: Nick Richardson, ceo and founder, The Insights Family.


Latest trend data from The Insights Family is showing an increased sense of parents and children enjoying playtime activities all together as a family unit.


ver the last 18 months, families around the world have become much more tightknit as they have spent the majority of their time together inside homes during the lockdown and Covid restrictions. Our latest trend data shows an increased sense of togetherness and kids and parents enjoying activities all together as a family unit. According to the Kids Insights data, preschoolers in the UK spend more time playing in general than their peers elsewhere across Europe. On average this year, 3-5 year olds in the UK play with toys and games for 1h 35m every day, compared to 1h 32m in Italy, 1h 30m in France and 1h 24m in Spain. The UK also has one of the highest rates in the European 5 when it comes to parents playing together with their children - with 44% doing this at least once per day, compared to 32% in France. 1 in 5 parents of 3-5s (equivalent to 2.4 million) also report that playing

board games and puzzles as a family is their favourite family hobby. Of these parents, 55% report that this helps them to bond as a family, making it the second top reason for it being their favourite hobby. These attitudes are translating into consumption shifts, too. Over the last three months, the number of parents 3-5s in the UK who purchase toys because it is something that they can play as a family has grown by 47%. This takes it from the seventh most influential factor to the fifth. In Europe, parents place even more importance over family play when it comes to purchasing toys and games. In fact, in Germany, 32% of parents of preschoolers are buying toys to play all together as a family, as well as 28% in France, 28% in Spain and 22% in Italy. WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU… With families seeking out products and experiences that help them bond, there’s an opportunity for

brands to adapt their marketing messages to emphasise any features that promote family time. When we also consider a world where parents are increasingly concerned about screen time (52% of UK parents with 3-5 year olds are concerned about screen time and how much time their child is spending on devices), toys are well positioned to serve the demand for family bonding. In the increasingly digitised kids’ entertainment world, the sheer number of apps, content and platforms available to this generation can potentially be overwhelming for parents. It’s clear parents understand the positive impact toys can have on their child’s wellbeing and development. Over recent months, our data has shown how parents are looking for more than just fun and entertainment when purchasing toys. This year following the growth of initiatives prioritising mental and physical wellbeing, families are showing the importance of spending time together and developing their skills and knowledge, and brands that can help enable this are likely to resonate with both parents and kids alike. With kids holding more influence than ever before in the house, it’s never been more important to understand and define your audience. To help brands understand the latest changes in the market, The Insights Family produced Media Planning Playbook. It's designed to provide brands with an update of the key trends including the latest viewing habits, the power of a Metaverse and family gaming. The Playbook also provides an understanding of the end-to-end campaign process, and how insights have to play in maximising ROI this Christmas. To learn more about the attitudes, behaviour, and consumption patterns of kids, parents, and families, and to get freemium access to The Insights Family realtime data portal, please visit: get.

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Gary Pope, co-founder and ceo of Kids Industries, takes a look at the new YouTube rules on what it describes as ‘overly commercial content’ and how it’s time to adapt, adopt and improve. Right: Gary Pope, ceo and co-founder, Kids Industries.



don’t need to tell you that YouTube is the biggest, brightest and best platform for children’s content. Or that children spend more time on it than they do watching proper telly, or even that it is perhaps the most effective medium for marketers that want to connect with those kids. This corner of the internet has been increasingly more important to businesses that sell to families and children, however fundamental aspects of the platform are evolving and the way we use the platform to connect with consumers may well need to change too. At the end of 2019 YouTube paid $170 million to settle allegations by the Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General that they had illegally collected personal information from children without their parents’ consent. At the time the company refused to acknowledge that portions of the platform were clearly directed to kids. An utterly daft thing to have done, but the message that they needed to change landed. I very much doubt that money had anything to do with that realisation. Parent company Alphabet says in the first line of its code of conduct that staff should ‘do the right thing’. There has always been a moral or ethical dimension when marketing to children and young people, but today it’s more than a side thought to do so, it’s essential and

a responsibility to take seriously. After receiving a costly fine, YouTube doubled down on YouTube Kids and made it a safe place to visit - no paid promotions and expert human/algorithmic hybrid curation. All content that was kid-friendly was to be labelled as such and they shut down serving targeted ads in this content.

“ The way we use

products’. They can literally go anywhere they like with this. There’s an argument that content pertaining to shows that preschoolers love, are overtly commercial content because the bulk of revenue comes directly from consumer products that spin out of these shows. Multiple studies have proven the link between a child’s enjoyment of a TV show and their request for product, so there’s a big debate coming over what constitutes good content that nourishes the children’s minds and what is the content that just drives them to buy stuff. The interesting thing is that these changes are not required by law. This is YouTube getting ahead of the game; these are the changes that will be required in time, but ones that even the lawmakers haven't seen yet. It’s a good reminder to all that children aren’t commodities to be commercialised and frankly, that is where the whole influencer thing has been heading for a while. Children have always found commercial content engaging it's exciting to fantasise about all the toys you'd like to play with after all - but there is a massive difference between a healthy obsession with a leaf through (what was) the Argos catalogue and the square eyes that come from unboxing videos on loop. It's time to read up on what’s coming and how to adapt, adopt and improve. Commerce will after all, find a way and there's few more commercially savvy than those in the toy industry.

YouTube to connect with consumers may well need to change.” Fast forward to this summer and we get news of a somewhat vague and quietly revealed announcement of a crackdown on overtly commercial content. In a blog post the company said it would start removing such content and those that ‘focused on product packaging’ in the coming weeks. It appears that the days of that weird phenomena - the unboxing video - are over, but the line between acceptable content and ‘overtly commercial content’ is a blurred one. Especially if you're not quite seven. CONTENT DEBATES It’s clear that the door is open to further stiffening of the rules - with YouTube promising to remove any content that ‘incites viewers to buy a product’ and ‘content focused on the excessive accumulation or consumption of

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PPS invites four senior executives from across the toy, nursery and apparel and accessories categories - André Delore, general manager, Infantino Europe; Anne Davies, owner, Room to Grow; Sam Ireland, operations director, Bigjigs Toys; and Emily Harrison, sales manager, Drew Pearson International – to discuss the current issues with the cost of freight and the effect this will have on pricing, lead times and the potential impact on Christmas.

André Delore

Anne Davies

Sam Ireland

Emily Harrison

Emily: “The biggest impact so far is the sheer cost of it - orders negotiated with customers and costed months ago with reasonable freight rates are now suffering with the impact of costs being four or five times what they were a year ago. There is no room to go back to customers now to renegotiate on the costs. We are working with it in the hope that the situation improves as we move through Christmas on into 2022, but prices to customers and ultimately consumers will inevitably rise.”

HOW IS THE CURRENT SHIPPING SITUATION IMPACTING ON YOUR BUSINESS? André: “Well, it is safe to say that 2021 has been the year of logistics and supply chain, throwing multiple challenges at us including higher logistic costs and longer production. Shipping lead times are also impacting the business overall in terms of margin and our out of stock position is increasing significantly.” Anne: “We have definitely been experiencing delays on our container stock. We’re finding that a lot of goods are left sitting in ports waiting to be collected and omitted from the vessel. This is happening frequently with products we have already sold and it can be very frustrating for customers who are waiting on orders, as well as costly for us as a company trying to appease them.

ARE YOU PASSING ANY OF THE EXTRA COSTS YOU ARE INCURRING ON TO YOUR CUSTOMERS? André: “We are working hard to ensure the cost is not directly passed to the customers, which in turn will help maintain the optimum retail price for end consumers. We are trying to achieve this by speeding up the development of our eco-friendly packaging using less materials and more compact packaging method resulting in significant impact on cost reduction.”

The inflated shipping costs are making it prohibitive to work with certain factories and we are having to look elsewhere to source our products. This raises major challenges within itself as European factories are already over capacity and many are not looking to take on new customers.” Sam: “It's been a challenge, that's for sure. We have certainly seen more items out of stock this year than ever before mainly caused by delays in shipping that we are all facing, but also due to higher levels of demand.”

Anne: “As of yet, we have not passed any of the additional costs onto consumers, but unfortunately it is inevitable that we will have to visit this idea if the shipping costs continue to remain at such a high

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INDUSTRY ROUNDTABLE rate. It’s not an ideal solution, but hopefully we can still keep our prices competitive if other retailers are having to follow suit.” Sam: “We have no choice but to pass some of it on. We have recently announced a price increase across the board to help mitigate some of the massive cost increases that we are seeing from shipping. We are set to see our shipping costs finish the year over £1m higher than 2019, which is clearly unsustainable for us as a business. We have held off for as long as possible, but have been left with no other choice now.” Emily: “We have absorbed as much as we can so far, but it is inevitable that if things continue this way, we will have no choice but to reluctantly increase prices to help reduce the impact on our business. We are working with more key partners on an FOB basis because they benefit from better rates on the large volumes they ship. This will hopefully limit the cost increases to the end consumer, but there is more pressure from buyers to meet their end margins.”

Above: Room to Grow is one of the UK’s leading specialists for sustainable and inspirational children’s bedrooms.

HAVE THE ADDITIONAL PROTOCOLS FOR IMPORT/EXPORT SINCE BREXIT NOW SETTLED INTO A FLOW FOR YOU, OR IS THIS CURRENTLY 'SHIPPING HELL' ALL IN ALL? André: “We are finding this is more settled now, yes, although we are still facing additional costs that we need to monitor now. Moving some big box promos on FOB (directly shipping from Far East) is a way to optimise logistics costs on retailer and Infantino side.” Anne: “Yes, it has been a confusing and challenging process that has taken time to understand, but it feels as though we have now settled into the new Brexit Below: Infantino’s Music & Lights 3-in-1 Discovery Seat and Booster is a current strong seller for the company.

procedures. There are changes we’ve had to make, such as how we buy from some of our European partners, which has resulted in stock holding. There have been a few European suppliers we’ve come across who no longer want to work with the UK due to the new and additional protocols, but I hope this may change in the near future when these processes are all underway.” Sam: “EU trade in and out is back to some sort of normality. Yes there are now more costs and processes involved, but we do have goods flowing both ways again. The first 12 weeks of the year could certainly have been described as hell, but now couriers, hauliers and us as a business have a good understanding of things we are in a much better place.” Emily: “Luckily we ship very little outside of the UK, but even the small amount we do despatch to mainland Europe has been a logistical minefield.” WHAT OFFICE/DISTRIBUTION SET UP DO YOU HAVE OUTSIDE OF THE UK AND HOW DOES THIS BENEFIT THE EU CUSTOMERS? André: “Our central office is located in Holland, and we have a central warehouse in Germany, but we also have a UK branch in London.” Sam: “We chose to keep all of our warehousing in the UK from the outset. It does make it more expensive than using an EU location, but the benefits of flexibility and stock holding levels for our customers far outweigh the cost savings that we might have seen. Our team now has a great understanding of the processes needed to ship from the UK into the EU which makes staying in the UK the best option for us.” Emily: “We work with distributors in Scandinavia, Germany and Ireland and the effects of Brexit are already impacting lead times, costs and deliveries,

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B A B Y W E A R // +44(0)1923 932 230

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INDUSTRY ROUNDTABLE Inset: Bigjigs’ Green Toys range has been enjoying solid sales.

but we hope that some of these issues will resolve themselves as EU/UK business becomes more confident and competent with the new protocols.” WHAT ARE YOU ADVISING RETAILERS OF THE SITUATION AND WHAT THEY SHOULD BE DOING WHEN IT COMES TO PLACING ORDERS AND MAKING SURE THEY HAVE STOCK FOR THE KEY Q4 PERIOD? André: “We are urging retailers to be flexible where possible – being able to extend delivery slots is ideal and updating forecasts on a monthly basis is a help, as Below: Drew Pearson International’s portfolio mixes preschool brands with older character properties, plus sports and lifestyle.

well as planning listings and promotions six months in advance.” Sam: “At the moment nothing. We have more stock on order than ever before and shipping is working but slowly. We feel that over the next 4-6 weeks we are going to be back to a much better stock position and should hopefully maintain that through peak.” Emily: “We are keeping retailers updated and most are, on the whole, being understanding of the issues but there will be a limit to that if critical dates are missed, Christmas is a key selling period for everyone and is a finite window. Although we have managed to get stock shipped on time, the biggest issue is with the shipping lines themselves, changing docking dates, extending shipment times, but the process is out of our hands once goods have been shipped. Going forwards we may need to work with our key retail partners to shift buying timetables and book earlier for anything which has a critical launch date or a shorter selling period.” ANY OTHER INPUT OR COMMENTS - YOU HAVE FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCE AFTER ALL… André: “Higher logistic costs and online sales are pushing everybody to assess their business model. At Infantino we share the concern about the need to have more environmentally friendly products and packaging. This has had a direct impact in the way packaging and new products are developed. We would like to reduce carbon footprint and logistical impact, by using more compact packaging. This is a way to minimize costs not only on our side but retailer side with lower delivery costs to consumers, hence providing the end consumers with a great quality product at an affordable price.”

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Inset: Dorel’s biggest concentration of marketing concerns the 360 Family. Below: Nicola Coletti, marketing communications manager.

A 360



With a major launch underway in the shape of the Maxi-Cosi 360 Family, and a new brand set to hit the UK at the end of the year, it’s a busy time for Dorel Juvenile. Progressive Preschool catches up with marketing communications manager, Nicola Coletti, to find out more.

t’s tricky to talk to anyone at the moment without a review of how business has been over the pandemic. And while Dorel Juvenile, home to multiple well-loved nursery brands, from Maxi-Cosi to Tiny Love and Safety 1st, has experienced challenges like the rest of industry, there have been areas of growth and positivity too. Nicola explains: “We all know this last 18 months have been tough for everyone. With the pandemic forcing stores to remain closed, retailers have had to enhance their online offering. While it has been tough, we have seen certain categories really grow, namely safety, home

equipment and toys. With consumers being at home more, it is more important than ever to have everything you need in one place.” The company also changed launch plans around during lockdowns in order to better support its high street retailers: “We made the decision to slightly delay the launch of our new 360 Family, to ensure that it coincided with the reopening of stores, supporting our bricks and mortar retailers.” Now that we are finding our way back to normality, Dorel Juvenile has big plans for the next year. Nicola tells us: “The main objective over the next 12 months is

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THE BIG INTERVIEW to grow our share of business in the market. We have an amazing portfolio now that we are also constantly improving on, so we are really driven to achieve this. We also want to ensure that our partnerships with retailers are growing. They are the reason we can keep going, so it is really important to ensure they remain strong. “Two other major focuses for us in the next year are our in-store experience and our digital campaigns. We know that the way consumers are shopping is ever-changing, so we need to ensure that we are following those trends.” There is certainly plenty of exciting new products to keep retailers busy over the coming months. Dorel Juvenile recently unveiled its 360 Family. Nicola tells us: “This has been our biggest launch for a while now, so we have been concentrating all of our efforts on this and will continue to do so for the rest of the year. “The 360 Family has been amazingly well received. Both retailer and consumer feedback has been super-positive and we are thrilled with the initial reaction. It has been a long-awaited product for the Maxi-Cosi infant carrier portfolio but it’s definitely been worth the wait as it has quickly become our best-selling car seat family.” And there’s more to come: “We have some very exciting new launches coming up in 2022, including expanding our pushchair portfolio and launching new products in the car seat category, so watch this space.”

Above: Dorel is home to multiple well-loved nursery brands, covering all categories and needs Left: The 360 Family comprises of FamilyFix 360 base, the Pebble 360 car seat, for children from birth to 15 months, and the Pearl 360 car seat for children from birth to four years old.

Dorel Juvenile will also be bringing a new brand to the UK in the shape of Bébéconfort. Nicola says: “Bébéconfort has been around for 85 years now and is well-established through Europe, but now it’s time for the brand to hit the UK market and replace some of the Safety 1st brand. Home safety will remain as Safety 1st as it is well known in this category, but car seats, pushchairs and home equipment will move over to Bébéconfort.” These launches and the rest of the business will be supported by a strong marketing campaign, as Nicola explains: “We have a busy marketing plan in place including digital campaigns, monthly promos and enhancing in-store experience. During the pandemic, we have seen strong support for influencer activity which we will continue to work closely with our PR agency on.” The brand will also be back out at events over the Left: Dorel has coming months: “For the first time in a while, we will a number of new be at Harrogate Nursery Fair in October and we are launches coming up in 2022. looking forward to seeing our retailers and hopefully celebrating some normality.” Outside of new launches, Dorel Juvenile will, like many others, be working on remaining profitable throughout and after the pandemic for the RETAIL SUPPORT coming year. Nicola Dorel Juvenile’s sales and training team continues: “From are committed to providing the most there, we will be comprehensive product information and focusing on strategic training on both new and existing products. partnerships and Nicola explains: “Throughout the making sure we can pandemic, we arranged virtual sessions via offer the best level of Zoom, plus a livestream to give our retailers support and service to an in-depth look at our new launches.” drive growth for both Now restrictions are lifting, the team are back on the road, catching up face to face the Dorel brands, and with retailers. our retailers.”

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HARROGATE Back from an 18-month absence due to the pandemic, the Harrogate International Nursery Fair will open its doors from 17-19 October this year, in a change to its usual March date. Progressive Preschool chats to the show organiser, as well as some exhibitors and buyers to find out about the plans for the much anticipated return.

Inset: International Nursery Fair returns to the Harrogate Convention Centre after an 18-month break due to Covid in October. Above right: The nursery trade is looking forward to meeting face to face again.

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very year the year, or are returning after a break OUT OF THE BOX nursery trade flocks including Mamas & Papas, iCandy, “We are so excited to show the nursery to the Victorian spa Anex Baby, Tutti Bambini, Chicco, sector what Tonies has to offer. Over the town of Harrogate Cybex, Dorel, Snüz, Hippy Chick last year, we have massively expanded our and more. to make the most of the portfolio within the preschool category International Nursery Fair. Adrian tells us the reaction to offering content suitable for all ages. 2020 saw the event cancelled the show has been positive, despite We are looking forward to showing due to Covid, and this year, uncertain times: “The response retailers and buyers what we have to offer the show has taken up the from exhibitors and visitors has including our Sleepy Time Tonies that later October date, but despite transitions the Toniebox from a storytime been overwhelming. There is the changes, it’s all systems go. definitely an air of excitement at companion into the perfect sleep aid. Taking over five halls of returning to the show and getting We will also be launching a very exciting the Harrogate Convention back to a sense of normality. collaboration with Steiff.” Centre, this year’s fair boasts “It is important for business and Pinky Laing, partnerships and PR an impressive exhibitor networking – and visitors are very manager, Tonies list with a vast range of much looking forward to seeing and Below: The new collaboration with Steiff will suppliers, manufacturers feeling products first-hand for the see Tonies launch 20cm plush Steiff bears that contain songs and stories. and distributors. first time in almost two years. The Adrian Sneyd, show show also offers lots of exclusive organiser, tells PPS: “Having show offers, so retailers can really had to re-organise the reap the benefit of attending and show several times due to placing orders at the show.” the pandemic, we are very This feeling is echoed by retail excited to have a firm date buyers. Rebecca Gilligan, branded in the diary for October. It is buyer, nursery, toy and gift at JoJo apparent that this trade show Maman Bébé, comments: “The is very much wanted and lack of trade shows has really needed by the industry and changed the way we work - we are exhibition space has been in big demand; so much so now relying on virtual meetings and using the web that we have recently announced the opening of an to search for new ideas and products. Trade shows additional hall – hall H.” are always such a great opportunity to discover new While many of the previous exhibitors have brands and products. It will be so nice to get out to rebooked for 2021, there are also over 50 companies see suppliers and see what new and exciting products which have either booked stands for the first time this they have to offer.”

RECONNECTING “We are looking forward to launching our evolved brand at the show and the positive impact that will have for trade partners and ultimately the consumer. It is also a great opportunity for us to connect with our peers and trade customers. We shall be launching several new products at Harrogate across furniture and travel, and showcasing our new nursery collections.” Emma Scorah, marketing director, Ickle Bubba Below: Ickle Bubba will be exhibiting its new nursery collections at Harrogate.

NEW, NEW, NEW “It’s not the same seeing a product virtually, and some of the new items we’re launching at Harrogate really do have to be seen. There will be more of the team attending this year - it will be Steph and Kelly’s first Harrogate show, so they can’t wait to meet everyone face to face. We have a whole new range launching. New models, new colours, new everything. We’re so excited to be showcasing all the hard work our team has put in over lockdown.” Molly Francis Coleman, md, Roma Prams Above: Roma will be exhibiting its range of doll prams at the show this year.

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The Snowdon collection.


Snowdon 3 piece classic set & The Cosmic Aura Collection 10 Piece Nursery Starter Set

Stylish sleigh designs and pieces that grow with baby, Snowdon takes you from nursery to toddler’s room in style.

4 in 1 Mini cot bed

Classic cot bed

How to order...

Changing unit


Both 4 in 1 mini cot bed and classic cot bed available as part of a 3 piece or 2 piece furniture set, including a mattress.

To place an order, visit the Ickle Bubba portal or contact your account manager: Grant Koston - Category Manager - Furniture 07900 612800 *Comes with a 4-year warranty when registered so you know it will go the distance.

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“Our plan is to take a snap shot of our brands, we plan to display it all in the form of a nursery. We have over 2,000 skus, so it’s hard for us to show everything, we hope to inspire our customers with displays that they can use in their own stores. We are excited to be bringing our new brand ErgoPouch. New for 2021 is Moonie and Doddle & Co, Kabode and Lulujo has a new boho range.” Nicola Barnett, ceo, Kidcentral

“It is always beneficial to be able to showcase the products face to face and engage in those business discussions. As always we want to be able to bring something new to the table, so we are really excited to be able to share our new fashions for 2022, as well as giving a first sneak peek at our new launch lines. We are always looking for new ways to innovate and improve so we will certainly have some new launches to share.” Damon Marriott, head of product management, Joie

Below: Moonie is new for 2021 for Kidcentral and is a sleep aid, night light and comforter in one.

organiser has carefully planned to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Adrian continues: “The Harrogate Convention Centre has solid health and safety procedures in place; we will be working closely with them and following all government guidelines to ensure a smooth running event and protect exhibitors and visitors alike.” In current times there will inevitably be some unable to attend, but there are plans in place for this, too. The organiser has improved the show’s online presence this year and exhibitors can upload press releases, videos and product demonstrations to the website. Adrian explains: “While this isn’t quite the same as seeing products first-hand, it will offer those unable to attend the chance to browse through the exhibitors attending and the product ranges they have on offer. Also, we are hoping to announce an exciting new initiative in the coming weeks which will open the show up to a much wider audience.” Having had such a long break from meeting colleagues and friends in the industry face-to-face, the International Nursery Fair will be a welcome return to normality for the nursery trade, and with so many new exhibitors and product launches, it’s set to be a busy and positive few days for all at Harrogate.

Caroline Pizzey, owner of Little Poppets, agrees: “I am excited to see everyone again. Catching up with fellow retailers that we haven’t managed to see, looking at the new ranges that are due next year. I am hoping this year that we get to see new manufacturers. I’ve heard that the floor plan is bigger than ever this year which is such great news. Maybe this is a start of a bigger and better Harrogate moving forward.” Sam Dickman, buyer at A3 Baby Barn, enthuses: “I am so looking forward to Harrogate. It will just be so exciting to meet up with the trade again as it feels that we haven’t had that connection with suppliers and fellow retailers for so long. “Over the past 18 months, UNIQUE FEATURES we have seen very little new stuff coming through. It will be “Seeing and talking through products really nice to see new products in person is so important, especially as with new features and it will be so many of our brands have unique and clever features. There is nothing quite exciting to pass on new stuff to like meeting in person, so we certainly our customers.” cannot wait for Harrogate. We are excited As well as the UK trade, to bring along all of our brands, from Emma Charlesworth, director the iconic Owlet smart sock monitor of Baby Birds, tells us there’s to the babywearing hero Izmi. a strong international interest, New for this year, we will also be too. Baby Birds has a stand showcasing the innovative Ark with Roma and Emma says: pushchair, the cross-terrain travel “We’ve had so many positive system with an eco-mindset.” comments and with Roma, we Leonie Hayward, have had bookings from all over information systems the world as there are so few and marketing manager, shows. It’s very exciting.” Cheeky Rascals While the UK nursery Right: The new Ark pushchair from trade is raring to go, the Cheeky Rascals in teal.

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HARROGATE NURSERY FAIR 2021 BABY JOGGER Baby Jogger is excited to meet with everyone at the Harrogate Nursery Fair and to showcase its new products. It will be showing new fashions with improved fabrics across its City Mini 2 and City Mini GT2 stroller range and its iconic strollers will be refreshed with three fashions: Opulent Black, Stone Grey and Brick Mahogany. The team also has some exciting new products to showcase! Tel: 0203 2490835 Stand KS12



A unique toy, suitable from birth onwards, Dena Diversity comprises a set of silicone shapes in various shades that will help children to recognise as well as normalise different skin tones. Not only does Dena have the promotion of diversity at its heart, but it is also a great developmental toy for babies and toddlers, encouraging them to use their imagination to develop all sorts of free-range play activities. Available from Hippychick. Tel: 01278 434440 Stand Q70

Ickle Bubba’s much-loved Stomp V3 is back with a bold new look. The new designs include a navy hood and fabric and a stand-out champagne coloured chassis. Parents can combine them for a pushchair with distinction or mix and match with the standard black chassis or existing fabric colours, to find a look that suits their style. Available in different combinations: the 3-in-1 (all-in-one) travel system featuring the carrycot, pushchair and car seat, or simply the 2-in-1 carrycot and pushchair bundle. Tel: 01554 707022 Stand Q90

JOIE Joie Signature is a dream team of some of Joie’s most popular products that look smart and work smarter, bringing first class luxury to everyday outings and clever solutions to everyday needs. These staple pieces - including i-Level, i-Quest, i-Spin Grow, i-Traver, finiti, aeria and tourist - are crafted to work long and hard all the way from baby to big kid and look fab all the while. Tel: 01889 808900 Stand KS1

ROMA PRAMS New for Christmas 2021, the best-selling Roma Polly collection has expanded to four new products - a dolls buggy, bedside crib, highchair and car seat. All in the stunning sequin design with luxury quilted fabrics and high polished chrome finish, the Polly collection really does stand out from the crowd. Tel: 01305 853080 Stand D10

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HARROGATE NURSERY FAIR 2021 THE DREAMY ELEPHANT COMPANY The Dreamy Elephant Company is proud to introduce Jaspar The Dreamy Elephant, the UK’s first baby bonding companion and sleep aid at the Harrogate Nursery Fair this year. Jaspar is the company’s very first product which helps parents of newborns, toddlers and older children to develop a stronger loving bond and help ease separation anxiety. Tel: 07863 630816 Stand Q85



The new CYBEX Sirona S2 i-Size delivers easy and comfortable boarding thanks to the innovative one-hand 360-degree rotation mechanism. This clever feature also makes it easy to switch between rear and forward-facing travel. Suitable from three months up to four years, or from birth with the newborn inlay, this rear-facing car seat improves the child’s safety in the event of a head-on crash. Tel: 07471 035850 Stand Q41

Renolux has used its expertise to provide comfort, well-being and safety for more than 40 years. It has recently designed and developed Softness technology which it is now applying to its car seats. The new technology offers a combination of high-strength steel frame, with high density polyurethane foam to absorb energy and cushion shocks in the event of an accident. The new Softness range is available in the UK from the Autumn. Tel: 00 33 (4) 72469740 Stand G9

DIDOFY Didofy combines clever design and technology, to produce innovative stylish pushchairs and travel systems which easily fold with the touch of a button or one hand. After the successful launch of the ultracompact, award-winning Aster, Didofy will be showcasing its new Aster 2, with new features, design enhancements and new colourways. Tel: 07793 712652 Stand KS11

COZY N SAFE Cozy N Safe has launched its brand new i-Size range, with not one, not two but three brand new models - the Morgan, the Lancelot and the Tristan. These seats are packed full of features, such as seamless recline, 360° spin, extra deep padding and more. Tel: 01902 494905 Stand D8

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For more information and all sales enquiries, please contact Joie on 01889 808 900 or email

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Go further. Go finer. No matter where your adventure takes you, make your move with Joie Signature – a dream team made up of our favourite Joie players. Looking smart and working even smarter, these multitaskers bring first class luxury to everyday outings and clever solutions to everyday needs.

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HARROGATE NURSERY FAIR 2021 INGLESINA Inglesina, the famous Italian manufactured brand, offers the highest quality, stylish, and expertly designed complete travel solutions focused on the comfort and wellness of babies and parents. At Harrogate Nursery Fair, Inglesina will be announcing the global launch of an exciting new full-size travel system with unique features, which is lightweight, compact, and easy to fold without compromising on comfort. Tel: 01268 267056 Stand Q2



The Brand Snug is a new concept stand which brings together brands working with nursery marketing company, The Media Snug. The stand promises to bring some exciting products and launches from new and established brands including Vital Baby, Bibetta and Eco Rascals, as well as many others. Tel: 01462 530333 Stand Q122

Anex is preparing for the world launch of its new innovative pushchair and refreshed collections of iconic designs. Don’t miss the showcase of the Anex m/type PRO, with improved EPP material. Its 2021 Red Dot-winning pushchair is ready to amaze! Tel: 00 48 222116708 Stand H5

MOONIE Moonie, the humming friend is a professional baby sleep aid that helps babies easily fall asleep. The sounds of the Moonie humming bear are real recordings of natural pink noise from a mummy’s tummy. It allows children to calm down and fall asleep faster. It’s simple and elegant and beautifully packaged. Available from Kidcentral. Tel: 01530 569470 Stand Q56

KABODE Believing in a better tomorrow Kabode believes that even a small shift can help influence a big change in the world. It uses organic cotton across its bedding products, certified by GOTS, the world’s leading textile processing standard for organic fibres. Available from Kidcentral. Tel: 01530 569470 Stand Q56

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Launching a new brand with new ideas and products! Kids Happy House was created from our own happy house – we bring you innovative products for teething and baby healthcare.

See us at Harrogate Nursery Fair Stand Q82 T: 07966 394099 E:

Without Compromise...

Travel In Luxury Cozy N Safe has launched its brand new Signature i-Size collection with not one, not two but three brand new i-Size models! Say hello to the Lancelot, Morgan and Tristan. The Lancelot and Tristan are forward facing seats suitable for children 76-150cm and the Morgan is one of only a few seats that is suitable from 40-125cm.

To find out more, contact Cozy N Safe on or call on 01902 49 49 05

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The range features everything you have come to expect from Cozy N Safe such as its signature extra deep padding and soft touch, high quality materials. All seats come complete with five point harnesses, removable cushions, selfadjusting headrests, multiple recline positions plus more. The Morgan is filled with even more features such as a 360° rotation function, pop out side impact protection, and a seamless 50° recline feature. No more set positions, this seat gives you full control over the recline position providing even more comfort. This comes as the R44.04 sales will be coming to an end in two years’ time. Cozy N Safe have invested heavily in their R’n’D of i-Size seats and have many more to come including a 100-150cm seat early next year.… Watch this space!

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HARROGATE NURSERY FAIR 2021 TONIES September is an exciting month for tonies, with the launch of four brand new Tonies that will give parents alternative ways to entertain and inspire their children: Paw Patrol’s Marshall and Skye launch on the 16th September, and Mr Bean and Masha and the Bear are available to purchase on the 8th September. Tel: 0203 1921492 Stand Q125



The Wogey Wand is unique and launching at the show – the first magical wand for wax and bogeys. No more clunky, noisy and hard to clean aspirators and attempting to stick a cotton bud in little one’s ear. This wand has one loop end for sticky mucus and a scoop end on the other side. It’s uniquely designed with a little baby’s face at the tip making sure it cannot be inserted too deep. Email: Stand Q82

Le-Glue is temporary glue for brick toys including Lego, Mega Blocks and Nano Blocks. Made in the USA it is non-toxic, is made of natural ingredients, with a bitter aftertaste for childrens’ safety. It holds bricks in place ten times stronger than without it, but it easily dissolves in warm water, leaving no residue. Distributed in the UK by Kids Happy house. Email: Stand Q82

TIE TEETHER The Tie Teether is launching at the show and is the first of its kind - a non-droppable teething solution that looks incredibly stylish on any outfit. A baby safe clip-on makes it easy to use and stay on and the crinkle noise effect is stimulating and fun to play with. The BPA free food grade silicone teething end is the perfect chew easily found by the baby at any time. Email: Stand Q82

WIPEBOX The Wipebox is a handy everyday essential which will be launching at the show. To save money, wet wipes are usually bought in huge packs which no one wants to carry around and the sticker design to close the packs is totally useless! The Wipebox solves this issue - parents can just take a bundle out of the pack and safely keep them clean and always wet in the Wipebox. Email: Stand Q82

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2021 marks the 50th anniversary of Rainbow Designs and, while special events to honour the golden landmark have needed to be put on ice for now, there is still much for the company to celebrate. PPS catches up with md Anthony Temple to find out more.


still can’t quite believe it’s 50 years since this remarkable journey of Rainbow Designs began,” comments Anthony Temple, md of the classic character toy and gift specialist. Founded by entrepreneur Mike Mutters in 1971, Anthony acquired the business in November 2005, a day he describes as “without a doubt, a defining moment in my career”. Since then, the company has delivered four-fold growth in its overall sales, changing from a distribution company to an innovative in-house product development business with direct sourcing and has a much-deserved reputation in the industry as a home of exceptional quality product. It has focused on the growth of key and national accounts, in addition

to retaining and expanding its independent retailer network. Understandably, Anthony is “immensely proud” of the heritage and values that the team has built. “I am especially proud of how we have strategically shaped and expanded Rainbow’s established ‘Home of Classic Character’ status with unique best in baby and nursery soft and developmental toy collections across all of our prestigious brands, while staying current and moving with today’s retail landscape,” he tells PPS. Top: A new Always and Forever Winnie the Pooh collection is launching this autumn. Above: Anthony Temple, md, Rainbow Designs. Left: Guess How Much I Love You is a heritage classic.

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THE BIG INTERVIEW The company weathered the storm of last year, arming itself with new skills in the process and Anthony says it is in a good place, ahead of budget expectations and “confidently on course to get back to our successful 2019 levels, with a fair wind”. Plans for any major anniversary celebrations, however, have needed to be put on hold due to the pandemic. “We were planning to celebrate our golden landmark with a special event at Toy Fair earlier this year, but sadly it just wasn’t meant to be,” says Anthony. “In the circumstances, it would have been difficult to celebrate properly under the restrictions… so we have decided to follow the example of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, that delivered a successful and heart-warming Games a year late. I would say it is never too late to celebrate and so we do still plan to continue our milestone celebrations into 2022.” Like many businesses in the preschool space, Rainbow Designs has remained busy with virtual showcases and previews on Teams and Zoom and has continued to provide support for its customers. “Communication has been a focus for all, but it is how we communicate that is important,” Anthony explains. “We quickly noticed that people, and in particular our independents, needed more than an email or newsletter – they wanted to talk, they wanted that reassurance of a familiar voice and so we’ve picked up the phone and now with the lifting of restrictions, where possible we have been getting back out there to visit our retailers. With trade fairs beginning to open their doors again, we are looking forward to catching up with many at Autumn Fair and had it not been for the pandemic, and the uncertainty of trade shows and travel in general, we would have been at Kind + Jugend, so everything crossed we can be there in 2022.”

Another challenge is shipping and container availability, in particular freight cost rise “extortion” as Anthony describes it, which he believes will inevitably bring price increases across the industry. “We cannot see this situation changing for the balance of 2021 and into 2022, and so we are just working as smartly and as strategically as we can to ensure we have the right product in the right place at the right time to ensure we can deliver on our promises.” Now that Rainbow Designs has reached its 50year milestone, looking ahead to what can be achieved in the next five years is the next marker. Anthony concludes: “Rainbow Designs, as The Home of Classic Characters, is a brand which I am immensely proud to have played a part in building. We are excited to nurture and grow further and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve in the next five years. See you in 2026!”


Above: The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of Rainbow Designs top selling nursery ranges. Below: The Once Upon a Time Peter Rabbit and Signature Peter Rabbit collections show how Rainbow Designs constantly refreshes and enhances its ranges.

“All our brands represent classic, heritage, quality and style, that’s what uniquely makes them a Rainbow Home of Classic Characters’ licence opportunity,” Anthony explains to PPS. “When considering new partnerships there has to be a synergy with our business values.” Winnie the Pooh – himself celebrating a milestone anniversary this year, 95 years – certainly meets these criteria, and the character is a key part of the Rainbow Designs’ portfolio. A new Always and Forever collection is launching this autumn, inspired by the woodland scenes from AA Milne’s stories and the nostalgia around the property. Anthony continues: “In addition to new arrivals, we are focusing on building and nurturing our core classic brands, continuously refreshing and enhancing with new design innovation and new products, adding to our successful, evergreen bestsellers that include our beautiful nursery collections: Once Upon a Time Peter Rabbit and Signature Peter Rabbit collections, Guess How Much I Love You and The Very Hungry Caterpillar ranges.”

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the first magnetic toy to kindle your imagination


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The developmental toy category – while always key for preschool retailers – has significantly strengthened since the start of the pandemic, with the absence of many parent and baby classes during the lockdowns causing consumers to actively seek out more products in the sector. PPS chats to just some of the companies involved in the space.


he developmental toy category has always been a key driver for retailers, however the closure of nurseries, preschools and schools over the past 18 months or so has seen a further rise in popularity. “We’ve seen fantastic growth in our developmental toy brands this past year, with Taf Toys in particular seeing a strong uplift

in demand,” explains Amy Wildman, national account manager at Halilit. “With the absence of many parent and baby classes throughout lockdown, parents have been actively seeking more wholesome and developmental toys for the home.” The company has seen tummy time focused items such as the Koala Tummy Time Book “absolutely

fly out” says Amy, alongside pram accessories like the Mini Moon Pram Arch. The Edushape sensory and developmental items have also seen increased popularity, with both the Textured Pop Blocks and Baby Sensory Ball Gift Set being in strong demand. Product development at Taf Toys is also coming “thick and fast”, with the Easier Learning category welcoming new additions such as the My 1st Magnetic Fishing Set. There will also be Kimmy Koala and Harry Lion Activity Toys and My 1st Tummy Time Cards, while Halilit is launching a Savannah Rhythm collection of a lion, elephant, rhinoceros and giraffe tactile animal shakers, plus further puzzles in the Dodo collection. Inset: Taf Toys has seen a strong uplift in demand over the past year, with tummy time focused items flying out, according to Halilit.

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Web: Tel: 01205 260 384

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Spring Fair 5L34 | Spielwarenmesse Hall 3 D30



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littleCONCEPTS - proud partners of:

Candylab | Plan Toys | Makii | MOLUK |

08/09/2021 11:01

SECTOR FOCUS The range has a variety of price points – from £15 “A combination of lockdowns and parents having to take on up to £70 – and numerous some home-schooling duties has led to parents spending themes, all of which are more time with their children and perhaps understanding interchangeable. To help more than ever how simple activities can promote learning retailers really make the and skill development,” says Halilit’s Amy. “There seems to be most of the range in-store, a bigger appetite for a little less technology where younger Geomag offers a number children are concerned, and we are delighted to see this of POS items to help with movement towards more traditional play.” demonstrations including For Geomag’s Nikki, there has been an “unprecedented ‘Try Me’ packs and the surge” in interest in more ethically produced and Magicube Floor play area GETTING SMART environmentally friendly products. which consists of building Smart Toys & Games is “Today’s consumers - both young and older - are block seats, floor mats and becoming more and more aware of the damage cheap another company which 128 free pieces of stock. has seen significant growth and unnecessary plastics are causing our environment and oceans and are specifically looking out for products that The range is also during the past year. endorsed by Dr “Families have certainly are more environmentally conscious,” she says. “This is something that will continue to grow and grow over the Gummer’s Good Play enjoyed playing Smart’s coming years. We are delighted to be taking our social and Guide, which Nikki says games and puzzles environmental responsibilities so seriously by committing to further underlines its over the past year and producing all new products using only recycled plastics.” developmental benefits. The our SmartMax brand shape sets provide an opportunity to had a particularly strong year attributes a good developmental toy use creativity and problem solving, outperforming the construction should have. “Parents/guardians while also teaching children about sector growth by some way,” says seek good quality educational toys/ magnetism, and – for younger Karen Clarke, brand director at games that have been designed children – building and then taking the company. “The SmartMax My for the appropriate age, but with apart the bricks again is good for First collection continues to sell longevity so the item can be developing hand-eye coordination extremely well - leading the way with played with time and time again to and logical thinking skills. My First Safari Animals, My First support the child’s development.” “For us 2022 will see the Dinosaurs and the new addition to expansion of our recycled line; the range My First Acrobats which SHAPE SHIFTING our priority is to ensure that by has already scooped four awards Geomagworld’s Magicube range the end of next year our full this year. From the Smart Games has been gradually building over the Magicube collection is made only bestselling fairy-tale collection, little last few years, and its new Shapes using 100% recycled plastic,” ones are enchanted with Three range has been a “game changer” continues Nikki. “Our commitment Little Piggies, Jack and the Beanstalk says the company’s Nikki Jeffery. to the environment and inspiring and Little Red Riding Hood.” “Major retailers which have future generations of this A further three new SmartMax been hesitating to stock Magicube importance is first and foremost sets will arrive in the next few have seen Shapes and gone for it,” our priority going forwards.” months including the special she says. “The biggest swing in the edition, My First Reindeer. last 12 months has probably been Below: Geomag has seen a surge in listings “A colourful, fun, engaging, tactile and sales for the Magicube range. this surge in listings and sales.” toy/game encouraging learning and creative play,” comes Karen’s reply when PPS asks about the key “While a developmental toy should certainly aid little ones in their journey towards meeting their milestones, it is also essential that the toy actually entertains little ones to ensure that they will want to engage with the toy,” Amy adds.


Left and below: The SmartMax My First collection will welcome new sets in the coming months.

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This wooden Animal Puzzle from Plan Toys comes with an elephant, rhino, penguin, gorilla, orangutan, panda and leopard. These animals need help finding their correct home on the puzzle board. For additional play, children can incorporate the figures into storytelling time, or free-play scenarios. Launching October 2021. Tel: 07870 132595



The new Clever-Up! 4.0 building block system from HABA consists of clear, simple, shapes that allow many different combinations and inspire imagination and creativity. It comes with perforated slats and brightly-coloured spherical blocks bringing new building ideas to life. The triangular prism permits more complex construction – even roof designs can be recreated. Offering construction play, creative learning and digital thinking, the system opens up a new building block universe for children. Tel: 01205 260384

New to the Classic World range is the new Robot Walker that boasts all the criteria for STEM toys. It operates as a walking aid, which can be height adjusted, for children who are just getting into their stride. This unique toy also includes a range of engaging developmental activities, from a 3D shape sorter; to gears; to a mirror, and even a xylophone. Tel: 01278 434440

GEOMAG What started out as the Original Magicube system has now become a world of magnetic building blocks with Magicube Shapes Line. The construction possibilities are boundless, and childrens’ imaginations will fly higher and higher! The range includes characters, animals and structures, with a new vehicles option with real wheels that magnetically attach to the blocks. A simple, magical system, just like all the magnetic construction sets from Geomag. Tel: 07577 371545

HALILIT The Taf Toys Savannah Super Size Foam Playmat is a high quality, ultra-soft mat with the added benefit of being waterproof and easy to fold. This easy-care mat covers 150cm x 200cm with colourful, lovable illustrations on one side and a stylish pattern on the reverse, plus six double-sided age cards to capture each monthly milestone. Tel: 01254 872454

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Brand new

Stock due February 2022, order now to secure yours New account enquiries please contact

ENESCO LIMITED, Brunthill Road, Kingstown, Carlisle, Cumbria, England, CA3 0EN. UK Customer Services Telephone: 01228 404022 Email: Overseas Customer Services Telephone: +44 1228 404066 Email: © Disney.

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Julia Minchin, founder and joint md of Hippychick, talks being prepared for the unexpected and why developmental and traditional toys should be more widely recognised as the bedrock of early years offerings.

“STILL GOING, STILL GROWING AND STILL ENJOYING IT” HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AT HIPPYCHICK? Since the very beginning - I started the company in 1999 from our home in Somerset soon after Tom, our eldest son, was born. He is now 23! WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT AT THE COMPANY? The fact that it is still going, still growing and that I am still enjoying it, after 22 years. The greatest individual achievement is winning the well regarded Somerset Business Awards in 2011 – the year Jeremy had a paragliding accident which left him in hospital for three months. It showed us that the business could still thrive when one of us was totally out of the picture and the other was fairly distracted. Another major achievement was fighting Chinese trademark trolls for over ten years and eventually winning all our trademarks back.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHANGE WITHIN THE PRESCHOOL INDUSTRY THAT YOU HAVE SEEN SINCE YOU HAVE WORKED IN IT? So many changes – where do I even start? The growth of online and the power of social media, the exponential growth of Amazon in particular, the demise of the high street. The exorbitant cost of shipping and the lack of real alternatives in terms of manufacturing closer to home. Everything has become instant – people want the right product, at the right price, right now. WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE THAT YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN? From my father, who had a wooden toy business called Tiger Toys. He always said a sale was not a sale until it was paid for and that there was no point being a busy fool – margin, margin, margin. BIGGEST LESSON YOU’VE TAKEN AWAY FROM 2020?

“ Be ready and open to adapt and change.”

As an understatement - be prepared for the unexpected! Be ready and open to adapt and change. IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT THE PRESCHOOL BUSINESS, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

FAVOURITE PART OF YOUR JOB? Working with a great team, new product development and photoshoots – in that order. WHO IS THE UNSUNG HERO IN YOUR COMPANY? Probably Jeremy, my husband and business partner for the last 20 years. His energy and enthusiasm drives the company forwards - even if administration and organisation are not his core skills…

I would like to see sustainably sourced, recyclable, natural, wooden, educational, developmental and traditional toys more widely recognised and as the bedrock of early years offerings. None of us can stop the march of time, innovation and technological advancement… but it would be great if the youngest age groups have a period of time to enjoy a world not dominated by electronics and technology.

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JPMBB launch The Parent’s Hoodie, a 3-in-1 sweater suitable from pregnancy onward. The Parent’s Hoodie is suitable for all seasons, it’s unisex, economically smart and sustainable, with no insert and an integrated and adjustable extension with invisible zip. It also features an integrated wrap-over, fitted cut high neck. This innovative product is already the winner of two awards: The Paris Design & the National Parenting Product Awards 2021. Love radius by JPMBB is also so excited to announce the release of its brand new, completely sustainable Basic Baby Wrap. Totally organic, this wrap is the continuation of its philosophy to offer the best baby carriers for parents and their babies. What else for Love Radius? “five babycarriers for everyone” all acknowledged by the Hip Dysplasia institute and certified OekoTex-100. Every baby is unique as its need for babywearing! Love Radius works everyday on these needs and will always give the best to fulfil them. “Because you are parents, but not only”. Visit to view the full range or if you are interested in stocking products, please contact Sophie:

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Lilliputiens creations are full of unexpected details and activities, a constant source of wonder, discovering and learning.

Juratoys UK Ltd. Tel: 0208 878 2133 E:

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EVENT FOCUS Inset: The show provides a great opportunity for suppliers and buyers to meet in person once again.



he only dedicated UK toy trade show to take place this year, the Independent Toy & Gift Show is returning to Cranmore Park in September, and the Play-Room team is looking forward to once again welcoming the preschool industry through the doors. The reaction from both exhibitors and visitors to the show returning has been really positive, Rosie Marshall, head of toys and children’s gifts at Play-Room tells PPS. “While we have all learnt to adapt to seeing products virtually over the last 18 months, it still doesn’t compensate for seeing products face to face,” Rosie says. “This show provides the perfect opportunity for suppliers and buyers to meet in person once again.” The exhibitor list includes familiar names to the preschool sector including Best Years, Bigjigs, Character Options, Galt, Halilit, Juratoys, Orchard Toys, tonies and Toynamics among others. Ravensburger is sponsoring the café area and will also be showcasing the Brio wooden railway as part of the show’s wooden theme. Newcomers to the showfloor, meanwhile, will include DKB, 8th Wonder and The Happy Puzzle Company, plus Craft Buddy and Baby Republic which have both recently joined Play-Room’s supplier base. Rosie continues: “We have a very

good relationship with these suppliers and appreciate their support to our members in what has been a very difficult year for all.” Rosie is keen to stress that health and safety throughout the show for visitors, exhibitors and staff is a top priority. “We have been hosting shows at Cranmore Park since June, in a Covid safe environment,” she says. “The safety, wellbeing and comfort of our visitors and exhibitors is our paramount concern and we will continue to take all the necessary steps to ensure our venue is safe in line with the Events Industry Guidelines and Government regulations.”

Above:The Play-Room team (from left to right) Rosie Marshall, Karen Almond, Aimee Hill and Faz Akhtar.

As the only UK toy trade show to take place in 2021, the Independent Toy & Gift Show is ready and waiting to welcome the trade back to Cranmore Park in September. PPS catches up with PlayRoom’s Rosie Marshall to find out more about the preparations. Indeed, Cranmore Park has been awarded the ‘Good to Go’ certification by Visit England, which means the venue has followed government and industry Covid-19 guidelines to ensure the safety of exhibitors and visitors. “We will continue to implement the following measures to ensure everyone who attends the show feels safe: enhanced cleaning measures, sanitation stations, wider exhibition aisles, monitored visitor numbers and contactless payment,” says Rosie. All visitors must pre-register prior to the event. “We are very much looking forward to welcoming exhibitors and visitors to our show. The feedback from previous INDX shows hosted at Cranmore Park is nothing but praise for the cleanliness and safety measures in place. We’ve had visitors call the day before a show to ask what measures are in place and after deciding to attend, they have felt comfortable and reassured while attending the show, which is exactly how we want everyone to feel,” Rosie concludes.

INDEPENDENT TOY & GIFT SHOW: NEED TO KNOW When: Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 September, 2021. Where: Cranmore Park Conference & Event Centre, Shirley, Solihull, West Midlands B90 4LE Website: Visitors are required to pre-register prior to the event and arrive with their printed badges to minimise contact: register-now

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THE INDEPENDENT TOY & GIFT SHOW 8TH WONDER Having seen significant growth over the past 18 months despite the challenging times, 8th Wonder is looking forward to showcasing its new product lines at the show. Its portfolio now includes products from Paw Patrol, Paddington, Barbie, Fisher Price, Peppa Pig, Minions, Jurassic World, LOL and Little Tikes, with Hey Dugee being its top performing brand. Tel: 01942 829811



Water Wall is a must-have for households with imaginative toddlers. Teaching children about gravity, angles and water flow, this wall is packed with limitless combinations for them to enjoy a different creation every time they move the pieces. With a multitude of modular accessories included, children can have fun creating their own water flows and seeing their problem-solving skills come to life as they pour water from the top. Tel: 01626 835400

The Play & Discover range from Artstraws is designed to assist preschool childrens’ development. Its safe, tough, brightly coloured, wipe clean pieces are packed in sizes that are ideal for nurseries and classrooms. Through play, the varied range helps with colour learning, improves dexterity and presents simple problem solving. Tel: 01792 796151

BEST YEARS Despite the well reported logistics issues Best Years is very happy to say that it has many new toys arriving in September including fair trade wooden dinosaur toys, natural rubber dinosaur toys and organic cotton Scandi style and traditional pastel toys. Designed to be suitable from birth, and ethically sourced, the ranges will be available for delivery at the end of September. Tel: 01327 263504

KALOO Best known for the most charming and comforting toys, Kaloo is thrilled to provide little ones and parents with the ultimate page turners thanks to its range of adorable Activity Books. The soft, sensory books are sure to spark the imagination in the littlest of learners with six engaging themes including four animals: Lion, Whale, Fox and Rabbit and two very different types of mammals: Dinosaur and Unicorn! Tel: 0208 8782133

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© One Animation. ODDBODS (Stylised) is a U.S. Registered Trademark of One Animation Pte Ltd.

Kids Costumes Coming Soon

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Beaba’s Glass Meal Set is an ideal solution for parents looking to reduce their use of plastics without compromising on health and hygiene. Crafted especially for young children, the ecofriendly tableware set is BPA free. The set includes a sturdy and stylish glass plate and bowl with a handy detachable and supple suction base, plus a glass beaker with a supple sleeve cover. Email:



Little ones will look completely adorable in their Blade & Rose outfits, complete with footwear suitable for little kings and queens. The designs include: Maura the Mouse, Farmyard Tractor, Frankie The Lion, Flying Unicorn and Ellie the Elephant. Something for all little ones in the trademark bright and fun colours of all Blade & Rose designs. Tel: 01539 730880

Tribike is a triumph in encouraging kids from as young as 15 months to get into the saddle. It’s a superb invention that will take children on a journey from a three-wheeler to help promote confidence in standing and walking, right through to a balance bike which will give them the skills they need to push start themselves with a push bike when they are ready. Ultra-stylish, made from steel and available in a choice of vintage colours. Tel: 01278 434440

ICKLE BUBBA Ickle Bubba’s everyday pushchair has had a makeover. Meet the new Moon Geo, a trend-inspired pushchair that showcases geometric prints with a metallic sheen. With two styles to choose from, parents can enjoy the cool silver and grey or go for something a little earthier, with the contrasting black and copper print. Tel: 01554 707022

LITTLECONCEPTS Developed to explore, the newest addition to the Candylab family, the Cotswold, is built classy. Ready to go on an adventure, or to nip off to the shops, the Cotswold will get you there! In two brilliant colours: Yukon Gold, and Royal Blue, each comes with an accessory that matches its style. Launching October 2021. Tel: 07870 132595

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WHAT’S NEW CYBEX Sports company PUMA and global baby brand CYBEX have created a collection of strollers aimed at active parents who enjoy taking their little ones along for the ride when they exercise. The ZENO is a 4-in-1 stroller which can be pushed, pulled or even taken biking, whilst the AVI is a lightweight sports stroller, ideal for running. Both products feature reflective elements allowing for optimum visibility. Tel: 07471 035850



New and exclusive to Enesco, the contemporary gift retailer is delighted to announce the launch of a brand new licensed offering from Disney, that is sure to get fans of the film studio excited beyond measure. Disney Facets features beautiful figurines of superb quality, bringing the world’s most iconic and beloved characters to life, through stunning ‘gem cut’ sculptures. With the look of cut crystal at a fraction of the cost, these multi-faceted high-grade acrylic figures sparkle and shine with show-stopping detail. Tel: 01228 404022

Building on the success of the Dursley nursing chair, Ickle Bubba has revealed two new colourways for this modern rocking chair and stool; Sunshine and Mono. Enabling parents to add a pop of colour to their baby’s room, the Dursley nursing chair in Sunshine makes a real statement. Meanwhile, the Mono design allows parents to build their colour scheme around its slick black and white design. Featuring a soft textured woven fabric finish and armrest pockets to keep essentials close-by, night feeds have never looked so inviting. Tel: 01554 707022

JOIE Meet the new savvy from Joie, the 4-in-1 baby carrier that makes baby wearing all about hugging, not lugging. The savvy boasts clever magnetic buckles on the shoulder straps that make putting it on and adjusting the straps a doddle, with no twisting or extra pairs of hands necessary. Tel: 01889 808900

FIZZ CREATIONS New from Fizz Creations is its Peter Rabbit collection. An enchanting collection of games including Character Hunt, Matching Pairs and Two-Part Puzzles, early years gift sets and a super cute Peter Rabbit Mood Light. Pre-order to secure stock today! Tel: 01903 327006

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“Our best selling pushchairs are Babystyle (Oyster 3), Egg2 and Cybex (Priam). We have in-store bundle deals with all these brands so our customer gets good value for their money. Our best selling car seat is by far the Cybex Cloud Z. This is a unique car seat that has a lay flat position when off the base. When paired with the Base Z, it also offers the spin option in your vehicle.”


IN NUMBERS Family owned Little Poppets started life in Llandudno, Wales in 2012. Two years later, the business moved to Sevenoaks in Kent, where it still is today, and where it has grown to be one of the largest independent nursery stores in the South East.


Since reopening, Little Poppets has operated an appointment only service to the store. Caroline explains: “Since being able to open we have been busy with appointments which has been amazing. Our online orders are still ticking through as well. Many new parents want to see and feel the different pushchair brands to help make their decision before baby arrives which is fantastic for bricks and mortar stores.”

Above: The shop underwent a complete refurb during the pandemic.


Ease of use for nursery products seems to be the biggest trend at the moment. Caroline explains: “Our most popular feature that parents want is a car seat that lays flat and swivels.” She continues: “90% of our customers, when asked what they would like, say a bundle and within this is the luxury of branded items such as Cybex and Maxi-Cosi. People are steering away from just any old car seat that is thrown in.”

Inset: The shop has gradually grown as other retailers have closed and now occupies four small shops. Right: Caroline set up the business with her husband after having their first child.



When Little Poppets had to close due to lockdown, owner Caroline Pizzey, had to come up with a masterplan overnight. She says: “We have grown our online presence massively as customers weren’t able to come to the shop to buy. “We offered virtual appointments to new parents so they got a better understanding of our products rather than the usual reading online. Since opening back up, we have continued this option for vulnerable families.”


“We have two hero products – one is the Cybex Cloud Z and the second is the Doona car seat.”

• “ We have eight members in our team.” • “ The average spend per customer is £1,800.” • “ We had too many boxes in our last delivery! We get over 10 pallets a week.” • “We aim to refresh our window on a two-month basis, but with core manufacturers, this is normally quarterly.” • “Over time the shop has expanded, but we are currently four small shops knocked together. As each shop closed over the years, we have knocked through.”

Above: Snüz is one of the retailer’s oldest suppliers.


Above: The shop is now run on an appointment-only basis.

Little Poppets’ longest suppliers are iCandy, Babystyle and MaxiCosi. Its latest additions are Anex and Cosatto.

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Without Compromise...

Introducing the i-Size Signature Range

Stylish, Luxurious, Elegant, Comfortable & Safe. Meet the brand new i-Size Signature Range. These seats are a perfect mix of comfort and style without compromising on safety. Packed full of features such as seamless recline, 360° rotation, fully adjustable headrests, insert cushions, extra deep padding and more...... For more information and sales enquiries, please contact the team on 01902 49 49 05 or email: Get involved at

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