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Read the brand new issue of Progressive Preschool now

Timed to coincide with the re-opening of non essential stores, the new-look issue includes exclusive content from across the nursery, toy, publishing, apparel and retail sectors.

The April 2021 edition of Progressive Preschool Magazine is available to read now – coinciding with the re-opening of retail.

There’s a sense of optimism in the air at the moment. It’s now five days since non essential retail re-opened on 12 April after a long winter of restrictions – in some towns and cities, bricks and mortar stores have been shuttered since mid-December 2020.

All of which means that this ‘back to business (part two)’ issue of Progressive Preschool is very well timed as toy and nursery retailers were among those throwing open their doors on Monday and, hopefully, have been busy dealing with pent up demand from consumers looking for that all-important in-person shopping experience once again.

Speaking to some key toy industry executives for this issue, they were full of praise for how high street retailers had adapted and coped over the past year since the pandemic began.

We spoke to five senior toy industry executives who were all full of praise for how high street retailers have adapted since the pandemic began.
We spoke to five senior toy industry executives who were all full of praise for how high street retailers have adapted since the pandemic began.

The entrepreneurial spirit that independent retailers of all kinds possess has allowed them to pivot into channels some had not previously explored this time last year, enabling them to make something of the situation they found themselves in.

Frances Bishop, founder of The Pud Store, certainly epitomises this entrepreneurial drive, rounding off 12 months of a global pandemic with a huge acquisition of Precious Little One which further shores up her business and opens up new avenues. Find out how she did it by clicking here.

Likewise, a fortuitous decision to set up a small online presence on DownYourHighStreet.com in April 2019, has ended up paying dividends for Amanda Alexander of indie toy retailer, Giddy Goat Toys. It was a decision, she says, that ultimately saved her business.

There are countless other stories of Toymaster members setting up websites, offering click and collect, local deliveries and utilising social media to keep in touch with their customers during lockdown – all of which means they have a number of different strings and strengths to their bow to complement their stores. It will be interesting to see how the omni-channel approach further takes shape throughout the rest of the year.

Frances Bishop, founder of The Pud Store, epitomises the entrepreneurial drive independent retailers possess.
Frances Bishop, founder of The Pud Store, epitomises the entrepreneurial drive independent retailers possess.

As one toy supplier told us, so often in business when your back is up against the wall, it makes you focus your efforts to find a solution and get through those tough times. Something we can all relate to after the past year.

As for PPS, you’ll notice a few tweaks and additions in this issue – of which the aforementioned industry roundtable you can read by clicking here is just one.

We also have exclusive columns from GfK and The Insights Family, while Farshore shares its thoughts on the health of the preschool publishing sector. We caught up with Ickle Bubba, as well as GP Flair to discuss its new Trudi offer, while sector focuses concentrate on travel and holiday, outdoor play, imaginative play and home and lifestyle.

We also find out more about Adrian Sneyd, show organiser of Harrogate International Nursery Fair, as he kicks off our new Executive Profile section.

And a quick reminder that entries are now open on the Progressive Preschool Awards 2021 (find out more here) which will be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Thursday 11 November. We’re looking forward to celebrating all of those efforts made across the board by the preschool industry with you all.

We hope you enjoy the new issue – feedback is more than welcome!

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