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“Those ticking over are being hit hard”: talking to Frances Bishop

As retailers and buyers look forward to 2019’s tradeshow season, asks Frances Bishop, owner of The Pud Store, to look back over the last 12 months and share her thoughts.

How do you think the preschool industry has fared over the last 12 months?

“Those who are at the top of their game are fighting fit… the issue has been with those who are simply mediocre or ticking over are the ones being hit hard. Those who are not pushing the limits or trying are being exposed.”

What was your business highlight of 2018 and why?

“Reaching our first million! I always wanted to make my first million by the time I was 30…I am three years early so that’s pretty cool.”

What are your hopes and expectations for the preschool market in general next year?

“That the ingenuity continues and fresh blood enters the industry – we need the younger generation coming through at the top of their game to know the future is safe and bright.”

What would you choose as the best new preschool product of 2018 and why?

“I love the Mee-go pram range – I’ve met the owner a few times and I like his tenacity and the fact he’s created a fabulous product at a great price.”

Will you be attending any of the tradeshows in the first months of 2019?

“I’ll be doing a few more international shows this year as we expand to five stores. I find the bigger we get, the more suppliers approach me. I’m quite time-poor at the moment so I like when suppliers try and get my attention – or maybe they like to get my attention now our buying budget has grown!”

Can you reveal any of your plans for 2019?

“We have two new stores lined up for March, an online platform launching, and if I have time possibly a few more stores towards the end of the year.”

And finally…. can you sum up the current state of the preschool industry in three words?

“The cream rises!”

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