Read the latest issue of Progressive Preschool now

The latest issue also comes with the annual guide to travel systems and car seat retailing.

While the start of the year is a whirlwind of trade fairs and activity, with the industry clocking up the collective miles across the UK and overseas, now that we are into the second quarter of 2024, there’s a chance to take stock, examine what didn’t from the last three months and fine tune plans for the rest of the year.

Speaking to executives from a wide range of sectors in this issue – from home decor and travel systems, through to publishing, toy and gift – it’s heartening to hear that confidence seems to be making a return. Many have enjoyed a solid start to 2024, with phrases coming through including “there is a lot of optimism in the business”, “we have started strong and we can only get stronger: and “a busy and eventful start to the year”.

However, we are certainly not viewing things through rose tinted glasses. Challenges remain from a supply perspective, with a number of our contributors saying that the issue around the Red Sea continues to cause delay and that managing stocks ahead of ranges launching into stores will be a challenge, with a cost impact from increases in container prices needs to be absorbed.

In the baby care market, GfK’s long running Consumer Confidence Index reported a two-point drop in February versus January, bringing it to -21. But, although negative, this is far better than the -38 recorded the same time a year ago. The market research company also highlighted ways that manufacturers could help ensure their product launches succeed, including by focusing on sustainability, having clear messaging and providing affordable solutions to help attract a larger and younger consumer base.

Just like one swallow doesn’t make a summer, we can’t really judge how the year is going to pan out based on just one quarter.

What we do know is that the preschool companies, whichever sector they are in – have been busy focusing on what they can control: working hard on getting innovation into their products, focusing on issues which are important to the consumer and doing all they can to get it right.

To read the April issue of Progressive Preschool, simply click here. 

Now in its third year, our Ultimate Guide to Travel Systems and Car Seat Retailing also returns. The guide looks at the sectors from a retailer, consumer and supplier perspective, delving into car seat safety and regulations with the BPA, travel system trends and much more.

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