PreschoolNews.net: The 2023 Edit

We’ll be back on Tuesday 2 January 2024… until then, we round up some of the top stories from PreschoolNews.net over the past 12 months.

With the big day fast approaching, PreschoolNews.net would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers a wonderful festive break.

We will be taking some time out over the Christmas and New Year period too, returning on Tuesday 2 January 2024 to bring you all the latest news.

Here’s a round up of some of the most read stories on PreschoolNews.net over the past 12 months.

January

TF23500x500Traditional toys come out on top for the UK’s £3.6bn toy market – products in traditional categories like Action Figures, Building Sets and Vehicles drove sales in 2022, while Plush was the best performing category.

Exhibitors line up to praise “fantastic” Toy Fair 2023 – “A perfect launch pad”, “positive vibe”, “sense of excitement”, “wonderful to be back” and “a fantastic opportunity” are just some of the ways in which exhibitors at Toy Fair 2023 described the event.

Mamas & Papas gears up for global growth with new ceo – nursery brand Mamas & Papas welcomes a new ceo as it eyes the next phase of its growth. Nathan Williams has been promoted from his role as chief operating officer to become ceo, while current boss Mark Saunders will become executive chairman.

February

Trunki sold (1)Trunki is sold in £12m deal – the children’s suitcase brand is sold in a deal thought to be worth over £12 million.

Spielwarenmesse reports successful return – following an enforced gap of three years, Spielwarenmesse organisers say the show reasserted its position as the biggest event of the sector.

Bright eyes: How Etta Loves is innovating in the baby vision space – Jen Fuller, founder of Etta Loves, explains how by understanding babies’ developmental stages, we are able to most appropriately stimulate their vision.

March

Harrogate500x500New bookings for Harrogate International Nursery Fair open with new hall focus – after a hugely successful 2022 show – and four halls of the Harrogate Convention Centre already almost full for 2023 with returning exhibitors – Harrogate International Nursery Fair opens for all new exhibitor bookings and stand allocation.

Ickle Bubba celebrates 10th anniversary – over the 10 years, Ickle Bubba has gone from strength to strength and now has a fast growing portfolio of affordable, functional and stylish products across multiple categories.

Polarn O. Pyret shortlisted for Drapers Sustainable Fashion Awards – having successfully rolled out its Second-Hand initiative across its entire clothing collection, the brand has been shortlisted in the Best Circularity Initiative category.

April

Progressive Preschool featured image (35)iCandy appoints Cameron Appel as vice ceo – Cameron has been promoted to the position following seven years working for the brand.

Maxi-Cosi unveils ‘revolutionary’ new sliding car seat technology – Maxi-Cosi has revealed what it describes as the ‘future of car seats’ with its new sliding car seat technology, SlideTech.

Preschool names among first ever King’s Awards for Enterprise winners – The inaugural King’s Awards for Enterprise are announced, celebrating the achievements of UK businesses. 148 businesses representing every part of the UK and a diverse range of sectors have been recognised by His Majesty The King as among the best in the country.

Cosatto celebrates its 20th anniversary – hot on the heels of announcing a new era for the brand with its new Silhouette Collection, Cosatto marked its 20th anniversary in technicolour style.

May

Joie i-spin XL (2)Joie unveils i-Spin XL – the new i-Spin XL is suitable from birth up to 12 years of age, and features the highest safety certifications throughout.

Mamas & Papas expands sustainable services – Mamas & Papas launches a new ‘Loved for Life’ initiative which offers parents a range of sustainable services. The initiative ensures that essential baby products can be reused, refreshed or recycled, extending the life of items such as pushchairs, as well as baby clothes.

Cybex develops Solution T i-Fix – the latest generation of the Solution range grows with the child from age three to 12. Thanks to new design highlights, functionality and safety features, the new range represents a safe and comfortable solution for car journeys.

Mothercare in refinancing talks – the retailer begins discussions with its lender to change, renegotiate, or refinance its debt facility due to higher interest rates. The brand said it is also considering various financing alternatives, including equity and equity-linked structures, to gain additional flexibility and reduced cash financing costs.

June

Wet wipes (1)Industry cautiously welcomes plastic wet wipe ban – suppliers hope the proposed ban will positively impact the environment, but call for more research into flushable and plastic-free disposable options.

Toys R Us marks high street return with WHSmith – WHP Global – the owner of Toys R Us – confirms a new retail partnership with WHSmith for the launch of nine shop in shops bringing the iconic children’s toy brand back to the UK high street.

Little Tikes teams with BOLDCUBE Scooters for new UK and EMEA deal – Little Tikes and sporting goods manufacturer, BOLDCUBE have inked a deal which will see the creation of Little Tikes branded balance bikes and kids’ kick scooters for the UK, EU and Middle East and Africa.

INDX Toy and Gift Show to move to September from 2024 – in response to retailer and supplier feedback, from 2024, the INDX Toy & Gift show is moving from a spring date to take up a new September slot. The next show will be held on 3-4 September 2024 and is open to all types of retailers.

July

Aldibabyevent500x500Aldi’s Baby and Toddler Event returns with new ranges – the popular Mamia Baby and Toddler Event returns to stores, with a raft of new products on offer. Items range from baby clothes and baby gates through to sensory toys and books.

Toy Fair achieves highest re-booking rate in many years – Toy Fair – which is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2024 – has attained its highest re-booking rate in many years with more than 90% of the exhibition space being re-sold to returning exhibitors.

Click Europe secures major Playmobil deal – Click Europe becomes an approved UK distributor for Playmobil, with the company now distributing new, exclusive ranges to the UK market, as well as end of line discounted stock and pre-filled FSDUs with in-store support materials.

August

JoJonew500x500JoJo Maman Bébé looks to Next to help drive sales growth – JoJo Maman Bébé is expecting positive trading via Next for sales growth looking ahead. The nursery retailer made the statement as it reported a pre-tax loss of £672,350 for the seven months ending 31 January 2023 – blaming the ‘tough’ trading on consumer confidence due to rising household bills.

Toy Fair 2024 exhibition space is sold out – Toy Fair 2024 sells out five months ahead of the show opening and will expand into the Upper West Hall to accommodate the growing demand for space, the BTHA confirms.

Green Sheep Group receives royal accolade – Green Sheep Group’s chief executive, Roger Allen, and Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Tim Cox, met His Majesty the King at Buckingham Palace. Along with other members of the Royal Family and senior cabinet ministers, the occasion marked a significant milestone for the company as the first and only Warwickshire company to be honoured with the prestigious King’s Award for Enterprise.

September

BlueyLA23500x500Preschool names shine at The Licensing Awards 2023 – a host of familiar preschool brands and companies are celebrating having picked up accolades at The Licensing Awards 2023.

Cybex strengthens UK team – Cybex appoints three new members to its UK team – Sam Nijar, manager project management retail architecture; Alexandra Bentley, key account manager UK/Ireland; and Chelsea Barritt, junior sales representative south UK.

The Little Loop secures £140,000 in the Dragon’s Den – Charlotte Morley, founder and ceo of shared children’s wardrobe, The Little Loop, entered the Den last week and came away with investments from two Dragons and twice the amount she had pitched for.

October

ASnew500x500Visitors increase again for third autumn edition of Harrogate International Nursery Fair – as the doors closed on the 2023 show, Harrogate international Nursery Fair has reported a further increase in visitors. In fact, following the opening of events allowed post Covid, the three editions of the new October dates are showing an increase in attendance of over 20%.

Mamas & Papas continues global expansion – the nursery brand signs a series of new partnerships with major retailers in SE Asia as part of its ongoing international expansion.

Cybex appoints Roland Auschel as chief sales officer – in his new role, Roland is responsible for all omnichannel sales platforms worldwide, and reports directly to ceo Johannes Schlamminger.

November

PPSAwinners500x500Progressive Preschool Awards 2023: The Winners – the winners of the Progressive Preschool Awards 2023 are announced at a glittering ceremony at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London. An audience of over 400 industry executives from across the retail, nursery, preschool, toy, marketing and licensing arenas were treated to a host of entertainment including comedy from Irish comedian and writer Jarlath Regan.

Toy Fair’s Majen Immink “surprised and honoured” to receive Outstanding Achievement Award – the Progressive Preschool Awards reached its stirring finale with Majen Immink, Toy Fair head of operations and sales and BTHA’s director of fairs and events, was honoured with the Outstanding Achievement Award.

Green Sheep Group set to launch in Turkey – following its successful introduction to the US market, Green Sheep Group has revealed that it is planning its next launch in Turkey, followed by further global expansion.

December

ScottGHTrixie500x500Animal magic: How Trixie is stepping up a gear in the UK – founded 15 years ago in Belgium, Trixie has begun to make its mark in the UK with its mix of wooden toys, mealtime items and back to school offer featuring its popular animal designs. The company is now stepping it up a gear, and is firmly focused on its goal of becoming a household name in the UK toddler market. PreschoolNews.net catches up with UK sales director, Scott Garnerbundy-Higgs, to find out more.

Max Publishing acquires London Stationery Show – Max Publishing acquires London Stationery Show from Ocean Media Group. London Stationery Show is the UK’s only event dedicated to the stationery, arts, crafts, paper and writing instruments sector.

Rockit wins award for export success – Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, praised British business at the Lloyds Bank British Business Excellence Awards, as Rockit Rocker won the Department for Business & Trade Exporter of the Year Award.

Plus-Plus partners with Tumble Tots – Plus-Plus has partnered with Tumble Tots this Christmas, in a deal which will see over 15,000 packs of Plus-Plus BIG given to members in the run up to the seasonal festivities.

Toymaster 2024 May Show is sold out – all the stands for the show – which takes place from Tuesday 21 to Thursday 23 May, 2024 at The Majestic in Harrogate – have now been filled, with over 100 suppliers exhibiting.

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