The latest issue also comes with a brand new 40-page print publication, Progressive Preschool’s Ultimate Guide to Pushchairs & Car Seats Retailing.
Writing this, the clocks have just sprung forward meaning lighter nights are within our reach and summer is on the way.
Temper these uplifting emotions, however, with news from the wider world… the devastation which is happening in Ukraine can’t help but be front of mind and, two years on, the Covid pandemic is still very much with us. The rising cost of living has seen inflation reach its highest level for 30 years, fuel, food and energy prices have soared and money is incredibly tight for many people.
At times like this, writing a light and frothy welcome column is difficult. Our industry is certainly not immune to the effects of what’s happening at the moment. Yet there is good out there. Numerous companies have pledged their support to Ukraine, not just through financial donations but also with much needed supplies and aid of essential items, toys and educational materials and activity sheets. Hippychick’s Jeremy Minchin was even part of a team which completed a 2,600 mile round trip over 72 hours to Rzeszow via Krakow to deliver supplies for the relief effort.
Further uplifting news has come from the preschool industry returning to in-person trade shows. Speaking to a selection of executives for this issue’s roundtable, it is clear how much these events have been missed and with them the chance to meet face to face with peers and customers, giving them the opportunity to see and touch product.
The sheer breadth of new launches being lined up for 2022 across nursery and toy is also cause for celebration. Innovation has not been dulled by Covid; rather it has flourished as companies experiment with different ways of working and creating. The fruits of this was on display at Toy Fair, Spring Fair and Top Drawer, and there will be further reveals at the upcoming INDX Toy & Nursery Show in April and the Toymaster May Show. There’s good news too for Harrogate International Nursery Fair which has confirmed that it will remain in its new October timeframe. Dates have been revealed all the way through to 2024, with the permanent move giving the organisers a chance to work on a new layout and refresh which will open up more opportunities for both exhibitors and visitors.
Here at Progressive Preschool, as well as planning for the tenth anniversary of the Progressive Preschool Awards in November, we’ve also launched a new print publication with this issue. Progressive Preschool’s Ultimate Guide to Pushchairs & Car Seats Retailing has been something that the whole team has been keen to publish for a while, and with Covid restrictions lifting and in-store visitor numbers moving upwards we thought that now was a good time.
The nursery and toy sectors are nothing if not resilient. We’re also a very tight knit community, pulling together when we need to.
As United Wheels’ Jon Tilley said as we quizzed him for our Executive Profile in this issue, “it’s a lovely industry to be in. Aren’t we lucky?” He’s absolutely right.