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You can now read the September issue of Progressive Preschool

The September 2021 edition of Progressive Preschool Magazine is available to read now.

As summer moves into autumn, there is still one topic which is dominating conversations across the nursery and preschool industry.

The continuing shipping challenges are undoubtedly the biggest talking point, surpassing even the pandemic, with a lack of containers and significantly inflated prices putting pressures on margins for companies across our sector.

We asked four senior industry executives from the toy, nursery and apparel and accessories industries to discuss how the situation was impacting on their businesses in this issue, and the response was unequivocal.

One told us they were finding that a lot of goods are being left sitting at ports waiting to be collected and omitted from the vessel – these products have already been sold which mean customers are left waiting on orders. Another said that inflated shipping costs are making it prohibitive to work with certain factories and they are having to look elsewhere to source products.

And while some had so far avoided having to pass on costs to customers, others said they had no choice but to pass some of it on, pointing out that trying to absorb significantly higher shipping costs just wasn’t sustainable for their business so they are left with little choice.

Shipping challenges and the impact they are having on the preschool sector is the subject of this edition's industry roundtable.
Shipping challenges and the impact they are having on the preschool sector is the subject of this edition's industry roundtable.

For their part, retailers seem to be understanding of the issue, although one of our contributors admitted that there will be a limit on this, especially if critical dates are missed – Christmas is, after all, a key selling period for everyone and is a finite window.

Away from the shipping challenges, good news comes in the form of the return of the Harrogate Nursery Fair in October and, from our chats with both exhibitors and retailers which are planning to visit, the chance to get together in-person once more is much anticipated.

While virtual showcases have certainly played their role in keeping business moving over the past 18 months, being able to engage face to face and get hands on with product has been much missed by all sectors of the preschool industry.

And, with product development having continued apace during the pandemic, exhibitors are looking forward to showing off their new lines to visitors.

The industry is gearing up for the big return to Harrogate in October.
The industry is gearing up for the big return to Harrogate in October.

Elsewhere in the issue, we have exclusive interviews with nursery brand specialist Dorel and with Rainbow Designs as it celebrates its milestone 50-year anniversary.

We take a closer look at the developmental toys category, while Gary Pope, co-founder and ceo of Kids Industries, highlights how new YouTube rules could have an impact on the preschool industry as this issue’s guest columnist.

We also have our regular research from industry specialists GfK and The Insights Family.

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