The March/April issue of Progressive Preschool is out now, with almost 100 pages of industry news, commentary and insight. Features include dedicated previews for Harrogate International Nursery Fair and The Independent Toy & Gift Show, as well as a spotlight on the magical unicorn market, the latest in slings and car seats, role play sector update, and feedback from the experts in the licensed apparel market.
The retail trade has had a busy few weeks, with barely a day going by without one retailer or another featuring in the business pages of the broadsheets. Most significantly for the preschool market is the news what Toys R Us (and, by extension, Babies R Us) will be closing its entire store portfolio within the next six weeks.
Quite apart from the sad loss of a key toy and nursery retailer from our high streets and retail parks, the closure will also see 3,000 people losing their jobs – never a pleasant side-effect of business difficulties.
Mothercare has also been the subject of much discussion in the last few weeks, with a profit warning closely followed by emergency talks with banks to secure new lending arrangements. It seems to have stabilised for the moment, but the industry is understandably anxious about the possibility of another significant closure.
In the meantime, the rest of the preschool sector will be making sure they are on top of the latest products and innovations by making their way to the various trade shows which take place at this time of year.
We have spoken to some of the key preschool exhibitors who will be showing you their latest lines at Harrogate International Nursery Fair, while visitors to The Independent Toy and Gift Show will be spoilt for choice, with a number of first-time exhibitors, a plush theme and a major offering from the preschool category.
As ever, there’s plenty of other great content to keep you reading as well, with cutting-edge columnists, exclusive interviews with nursery experts Diono and Obaby and a fresh look at the essential role-play sector.