New years are traditionally a time for a fresh start… a time of resolutions, promises to do better, be better and make changes to things which aren’t working.
Unfortunately, there are still a number of things which are most definitely out of the immediate control of the nursery and preschool toy industries… from Covid to shipping and EU import issues, many companies have started 2022 in the same vein in which they ended 2021 – doing the best they can and making the most of all opportunities.
And, make no mistake, there are opportunities out there. Speaking to a selection of suppliers for PPS’ first issue of the year, the speed in the growth of technology, and how it can be utilised to improve products, ecommerce, plus continued innovation in sustainability (in fabrics, manufacturing options and in freight, transportation and logistic methods) are all front of mind this year.
On top of this, the growth in curated and concession retail is a good opportunity for brand partnerships that have a similar customer base, while there is also excitement surrounding the return of Toys R Us and Babies R Us to the UK market and Mothercare’s continued work with Boots.
Adaptability and innovation remains key, whether you are a retailer or supplier.
Some of that innovation will be on display at London Toy Fair and Spring Fair as the spring trade show season once again returns (although since we went to press both Spielwarenmesse and New York Toy Fair have unfortunately been cancelled).
While there will be noticeable changes at all of the shows due to the Covid measures in place, there is a palpable sense of excitement about this edging back to normality. While Zoom and Teams have been virtual lifesavers, there is no substitute for seeing and testing product in real life.
For Progressive Preschool meanwhile, 2022 marks the tenth anniversary of the Progressive Preschool Awards, and we’re celebrating the occasion with a move to a new venue which will enable the team to further build on its success. Category entry will go live in April, so stay tuned for more details.
In the interim, we’re looking forward to catching up with as many of you as possible at the upcoming and witnessing some of that innovation for ourselves.