Nursery Online - Latest News
Too soon?

After the shock of Brexit, we are facing the shock of Donald Trump as President of the United States. Will it be another Armageddon? Certainly the pundits predict it - like they predict for post Brexit Britain. Or will the two cancel each other out?

As the news broke about Brexit, the pound fell sharply against the dollar. Since most of the stuff we buy is actually paid for in dollars, this pushed up the basic price. Some companies were canny enough to forward buy dollars, simply pushing the pain further into the future. Others, both suppliers and retailers, have absorbed some costs. But eventually, prices will have to rise and 2017 inflation rates will be much higher than in recent years.

At first it was assumed that the dollar would sink against the major currencies, which it did. But recent reports suggest that it has rallied.

But as I write this, everything is still very fluid. Things could go either way. I often say I just don't understand the markets. It now appears that no one else does either.

- Cathy

PS: Next week we’ll be sending out our International newsletter. I’ve got a lot of press releases from ABC Kids expo which was held last month in Las Vegas. Let me know if you’d like your press releases sent out to the world as well!

Back at home, our next Spotlight is Car Seats and Accessories with a copydate of November 18th. It covers, as its name suggests, car seats and all the bits that go with it.

And at the end of the month we have Nursery Décor, Storage, Lighting & Air Quality – those things that make the nursery a wonderful place to be. Copy by the 25th please.

As usual, if you’d like to join in, contact Lyn on 01304 374169 or 07971 700979 or email on lyn@nursery-online.com

PPS: Our apologies to BabyMoov for putting in the wrong link on their ad in our Spotlight on Maternity. The ad is shown again below as our midline - this time with the correct link. Click on it and see!

Traditional toys still ‘Trump’ fads

Toys that relate to the latest blockbuster films, tech toys smart toys are all hotly tipped to make the forthcoming Dream Toys list revealed this week.

But are these types of toys that ride on the back of fads and trends guilty of encouraging the next generation to just follow fashion rather than engage in proper, productive play?

Which toy would you pick out as your favourite from childhood? One that only lasted as long as the end of Christmas day before it ran out of batteries? A voice activated toy that lost its voice? A half complete deck of collectible cards? Or was it a traditional toy, a teddy or a beautiful ride on toy that truly captured your heart?

Hippychick is a business devoted to championing traditional toys at Christmas and instilling memories in children that will carry through to the next generation. Each beautifully-crafted toy is designed to actively fuel a child’s imagination, and to give them the tools to take the initiative in developing and directing their own play skills as well as helping to build their confidence, spatial awareness and co-ordination skills.

The timeless Moover collection brings together style and durability, with its clever click key construction little ones can even learn to take apart and rebuild. Our top pick, the Moover Dump Truck can let little ones drive their other toys.

Wheelybugs can be ridden, pushed, pulled, kissed and cuddled. These colourful ride-on bugs, almost have a magical mind of their own. They are designed to offer hours of robust fun and help promote self-confidence, spatial awareness and gross motor skills.

Pl-ug is an innovative den building system that allows children to build almost any den or hideaway they can possibly imagine by attaching to different objects around the house or garden such as tables, chairs and trees. The only limit is their imagination.

The award-winning rockers from Nattou come in the guise of a selection of their cuddly characters. Unlike their counterparts, these feature non-tip frames, foot paddles and a safety harness all while remaining plush, so no worry about little ones banging their faces during some vigorous rocking!

For more information on any of Hippychick's toy ranges please visit www.hippychick.com


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Mummy & Little Me celebrates a decade

Retailer Mummy & Little Me is celebrating a full decade of being in business. After opening the doors to their first maternity and baby boutique in Lincoln in 2006, the business has gone from strength to strength over the last decade.

This is their story as told by co-founder Vicky Denby.

“That first year things went well. We sold a lot of beautiful maternity clothing and underwear and we really were the best place in the East Midlands for new mums to come and get gorgeous outfits for them and baby. Very soon we realised that they all needed other items such as Baby Changing Bags so we quickly expanded our skus and became the place for 'Everything a Yummy Mummy could want and need'. That was our strapline back in 2007!

“Then House of Fraser in Birmingham got in touch. They asked us to open a boutique in their huge store. Eight floors! It was a very exciting time and the chap who pulled us in had just had a baby and decided we simply must have a concessions stand all over the country. We were the first Independent to go into Birmingham. It was all very exciting. Turnover was good, but staffing was a nightmare as Tracy and I with two toddlers zipped around from Lincoln to Birmingham hardly seeing our families. However, we were very optimistic and had visions of Mummy & Little Me being bigger than Mamas and Papas. “Dreams are free,” as my father says!

“Then we spotted a gap in Leeds and opened up a most beautiful boutique. By this time maternity wear was slowing down and the whole economy was slowing rapidly. Our Google ranking for maternity wear was terrible, so we were starting to stock pile clothes. With three stores – and clothes that had to be ordered six months in advance – this was not a good sign!

“Things turned a corner in Birmingham when our contact, Nirmal in HOF, was promoted to get his own store in the West Country. With our biggest fan leaving House of Fraser and the recession we very suddenly had a big drop in sales and we were making a loss in Birmingham. We had to make a decision quickly before it was made for us: we pulled out of House of Fraser. They actually were very nice about it and made it very easy for us - thank you House of Fraser!

“Our other two shops were also only just breaking even as more and more customers chose to shop online. Our internet side was going from strength to strength. So again, we had to make some tough decisions. We were strapped for time with young families and had to focus our attention on what was working - the website. So, we closed first the Lincoln store and then our gorgeous Leeds boutique so we could really concentrate and build our Internet business.

“We had some great rankings even back then. I always say our rankings are like the equivalent of having a shop in Oxford Circus. So, do we regret anything? No! Tracy and I have learnt so much over the years and both love coming to work. We always say if we won the lottery we would still come in! Today our website is now a haven for luxury changing bags and gorgeous things for baby and we now have the time to treat all our customers with that personal touch not often experienced when shopping online.

“Plus, we have just had our best year to date! Moral of the story? Keep on moving!”


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New muslin squares released from Bambino Mio

The UK’s most widely used reusable nappy brand has released a range of new muslin squares inspired by their popular ‘bumble’ and ‘grizzly’ nappy prints.

After the popularity of these geometric-style designs on Bambino Mio’s award-winning nappy range, the company are excited to extend these prints to their much loved miosquares (muslin squares).

Muslin squares are an essential item for any parent; a multi-purpose product that has so many everyday uses from mopping up spills to using as a burp cloth or comfort blanket and so much more! Bambino Mio’s super soft muslin squares are made from high quality 100% cotton making them natural and beautifully soft against baby’s skin. Available in a beautiful range of designs this product is practical and stylish, and with an RRP of £7.99 there is no better way to be an eco-chic parent!

Bambino Mio also manufactures a multi award-winning range of reusable nappies, accessories, swim and potty training essentials which are better for baby, better for parents and better for the environment.

For further information on products in the Bambino Mio range visit www.bambinomio.com


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Dreamgenii bolsters marketing team

Dreamgenii has added to its marketing team hiring Digital Marketing Apprentice Holly Keates. Holly joins the team as the award-winning product enters more international markets.

Reporting to Marketing Manager Fiona-Jane Kenworthy, Holly will work alongside the team as they extend their product development to include an array of fresh new colours and designs for the popular Dreamgenii Pregnancy Pillow, as well as working with leading retailers on exciting exclusive lines.

Fiona-Jane Kenworthy, Marketing Manager at Dreamgenii comments: “We were so impressed with Holly’s enthusiasm for the brand as she joins us as part of the 3aaa Apprenticeship specialising in digital marketing. The brand is ever-evolving and so we are delighted to be extending our team in line with our growth.”

Holly Keates adds: “I am so pleased to have joined the team at Dreamgenii. The projects I am working on will really make an impact on the brand and its such an exciting time to be working with the company.”

For further information, please contact Dreamgenii on 01538 399 541


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Snap up a slice of the UK market

With Christmas now firmly on the horizon, the nursery industry is now gearing up for the most significant event of 2017 – Harrogate International Nursery Fair.

Focus is firmly on the UK’s only nursery trade show and regular exhibitors which are serious about business and confident in the unrivalled opportunity the show offers have already snapped up prime positions. In the pushchair and stroller category, not to be missed companies include favourites such as BabyStyle, Hauck, O’Baby, East Coast, Thule and Little Saints to name just a few. Offering a host of popular brands include distributors such as Hippychick, Little Saints, Skip Hop, Maguari and of course Cheeky Rascals which will once again be sponsoring the café area in Hall B.

Those seeking quality bedding, baby textiles and nursing pillows should make a note to visit Sheldon, Aden & Anais, Breathable Baby, Cuddles Collection and Theraline; and new to the show this year is well-known brand Slumberland with its range of quality cot mattresses.

There are also numerous new companies signing up for next year, offering retailers lots of exciting new products that they have probably never seen before. These include Carriwell with a range of nursing bras, Em’s 4 Kids with baby ear protection and Little Tree with a collection of natural baby care products.

Adrian Sneyd, show organiser, comments: “We are delighted to welcome so many new exhibitors to the show next year, including a number of international companies offering retailers an even greater choice of products. With so much uncertainty in the economy at the moment, UK retailers and buyers are less likely to travel to international trade shows next year and consequently overseas suppliers realise that they need to be at Harrogate if they want to capture the UK market.”

Now is the best time to secure a prime position at the show, so if you are looking to increase your sales opportunities in the UK, be sure to return your booking form as soon as possible.

Full information and booking forms are on the website at www.nurseryfair.com


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Cheeky Rascals land in Harrods with ultimate pushchair brand

There has been lots of excitement at Cheeky Rascals HQ as its unique, modern and stylish range of pushchairs from Spanish brand, Mima, launched in the ultimate London department store, Harrods.

The futuristic inspired pushchairs landed in the famous London store this week with a highly sought after dedicated POS presence, undoubtedly a huge achievement for leading nursery distributor Cheeky Rascals.

The distinctive Mima collection is truly unique and with such high-quality design and innovation, it comes as no surprise to learn the range will be a permanent fixture in the store’s nursery department.

The popular Mima range is ideally matched with Harrods’ affluent customer base offering bespoke packages, customised designs and unique customer service. Perfectly combining luxury with functionality, the smart pushchairs are easy to assemble and manoeuvre, lightweight and compact. With single and double pushchairs available, as well as travel systems, Mima has every London family covered!

Selina Russell, Founder of Cheeky Rascals, commented: “This is such an exciting week for us all at Cheeky Rascals! Harrods is a world-famous store, known for its high-quality, luxurious and enviable collection of products. To have successfully placed Mima in the London flagship store is fantastic and with Christmas just around the corner, it is the perfect timing.”

www.cheekyrascals.co.uk


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Baby swimwear specialist Splash About launches in the US with 5 Gold wins in the prestigious Mom’s Choice Awards

Splash About, which designs and develops some of the most advanced safety swimwear for babies and children on the market today, has celebrated its launch into the US market by scooping five Gold accolades at the respected Mom’s Choice Awards.

Tried and tested by parents who rigorously evaluate on a multiple elements including quality, design, originality, appeal and value, Splash About’s products received Gold in the safety, sports and apparel categories.

“The Splash About brand is trusted by parents and industry experts in over 46 countries world-wide,” said Bernadette Spofforth Managing Director of Splash About.

“This is our first step into the US market and we are thrilled that the Mom’s Choice Awards evaluators have reviewed our core products so positively. It’s important for us that parents test our products as they are our most critical judges, knowing exactly what they want and what’s important when buying swim and sun protection clothing for their children.” Bernadette concluded.

“Our aim is to introduce families and educators to best-in-class products and services,” explains Dawn Matheson, Executive Director of the Mom’s Choice Awards.

“We have a passion to help families grow emotionally, physically and spiritually. Parents and educators know that products and services bearing our seal of approval are high quality and also a great value. The MCA evaluation program is designed to incorporate the expertise of scientists, physicians and other specialists; but we also engage parents, children, educators, and caregivers because they are experts in knowing what is best for their families.”

Splash About’s reusable swim nappy, the Happy Nappy and its baby wetsuit with integrated swim nappy, the Happy Nappy Wetsuit, were two of the Gold award-winning products at the Mom’s Choice Awards. The Anti-Bacterial Changing Mat, its sun protection playsuit, the UV All-in-One and its award-winning learn-to-swim aid, the UV Float Suit also received Gold from the parent reviewers.


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Launching in 2017: Pisher, the ultimate toilet training device!

Forget potty training toddlers – older boys need training in toilet etiquette too. Enter Pisher! Launching in 2017 this device is the answer to all the wishes of parents of boys worldwide.

It’s a new electronic toilet training device for kids. Many parents will no doubt agree that they are fed up with the cleaning aftermath of their children going to the bathroom. Pisher is the first electronic toilet training device for little and big boys, projecting a playful electronic target inside the toilet to capture a child’s attention and help them take aim, so there’s no need to clean up after them every time they take a trip to the bathroom.

The idea came about in 2015 when best friends, Mira and Sarit, became exasperated with their continuously messy bathrooms. Together they co-wrote ‘Pisher’s Adventures,’ an exciting children’s book about aliens visiting planet earth in search of fuel for their spaceship. Together with the help of little boy Pisher and his dog, Buddy, they discover a surprising solution to the alien’s problem: by peeing on the spaceship they have lift off!

In conjunction with the launch of the book, Sarit and Mira also created the Pisher toilet training device. This ingenious invention is placed under the toilet seat (fitting to all types of toilets with its universal grip) and then, when the lid is raised a cheerful sound will be heard and an image, taken from Pisher’s Adventures, is projected on to the ideal spot for every little boy to aim. Children will then be rewarded once they’ve put the seat down (another important skill in life) with another congratulatory noise – mission accomplished!

The usual boring challenge of toilet training is now transformed into a fun and enjoyable process for both parent and child. With every purchase of the Pisher toilet training device, parents will also receive a copy of Pisher’s Adventures, so the whole family can be entertained by Pisher and his adventures.

Sarit and Mira are not only trying to ensure clean bathrooms worldwide, they’re also wanting to give back to others. In each Pisher package parents will also receive a Harmonia coin which their children can donate to a number of worthy causes on the Pisher website. So whether their passion is animals or helping less fortunate children they can make a simple donation and the money will be taken from Pisher’s own revenue.

Pisher will be launching on Indiegogo at the beginning of 2017 to raise funds. Backers and the first 300 customers to their site will be offered a special reduction to only £39 rather than the retail price of £55.

Please see this link for a video demonstration of the product.

See www.pisher.net for further information.


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Fundamentally Children and The Genius of Play partner to provide expert advice to parents

Fundamentally Children, the UK’s leading experts in play, child development and children’s products, has partnered with The Genius of Play, the U.S. Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) initiative to raise awareness of play’s vital benefits to children’s development.

To kick off the partnership, Fundamentally Children’s Founder Dr. Amanda Gummer will provide a series of articles based on her book Play for The Genius of Play’s website.

Gummer’s book, Play, offers parents fun ways to help children develop in their first five years with expert advice at each stage of development. The content will be published alongside expert guidance and tips for parents from Bloomsburg University, Digital Kids Media and Let’s Play America, as well as advice from behavioural pediatricians, psychologists and other child development professionals.

In addition, Fundamentally Children’s “Skills of Play” chart will be published on the website, to support the initiative’s six key developmental benefits: physical, cognitive, social, emotional, communication, and creativity.

“I am delighted to be working with The Genius of Play,” said Dr. Gummer. “The site offers parents and caregivers in the U.S. a valuable resource and information about the benefits of play and development and has many synergies with the work that Fundamentally Children carries out in the U.K.”

“Our partnership with Fundamentally Children helps us advance The Genius of Play’s mission to bring more play into kids’ lives to help parents raise happier, healthier, more successful kids,” said Ken Seiter, TIA’s vice president of marketing communications. “Dr. Gummer’s articles will especially be a fantastic addition to the terrific content parents and caregivers can already find on The Genius of Play’s website.”

fundamentallychildrenhq.co.uk
www.thegeniusofplay.org


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On your marks, get set, Lego!

Looking for stylish kids’ storage with a difference? Then the NEW Lego boxes from online children’s boutique Nubie.co.uk are ideal!

Available in a variety of bold and pastel colours, including Red, Pink and Grey, these playful designs are officially licensed by the iconic toy brand itself. Little ones will have hours of fun with these eye-catching yet functional designs, and once playtime is over, the boxes are also great for encouraging messy tots to tidy away after themselves!

Designed just like real Lego pieces, the boxes can be stacked on top of one another to build space-saving storage towers, not only creating a cool feature in bedrooms and play spaces but offering a super practical storage option too.


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Goo-Goo Baby looking for UK distributors

Goo-Goo Baby is currently looking for established distributors with an existing clientele in the juvenile products industry in the UK.

We work closely with you to understand your specific cultural and market needs and as a boutique manufacturer our products are manufactured to your specifications in order to target those specific needs. Custom design services including fabric print design, packaging design, specialized sourcing and even new product development are a few of our specialties.

If you wish to represent and distribute a very successful Canadian brand of functional, eco-friendly, non-toxic and high quality accessories, please contact Ms. Rea Tarnava at info@goo-goobaby.com or by phone at 001-403-257-6177.


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Nimans home becomes exclusive distributor for Milk Monster!

Milk Monster, the innovative and unique baby milk timer, has had a successful start to the year achieving finalist level in the BPA’s 2016 Concept and Innovation Awards and a new deal sees Nimans Home the exclusive distributor for the UK!

Both breast and formula milk can have harmful levels of bacteria and decrease in nutritional value if left out for too long. The Milk Monster is a brilliant timer which allows parents to see when the feed starts to deteriorate. Simple, yet effective, the timer can be attached to bottles of any size, and has a multitude of features to ensure it is child-friendly and safe for baby. The glow-in-the-dark feature and the backlit screen allow parents to read the timer in the dark which is perfect for night feeds, and the splash-proof, dishwasher-friendly design also means the Milk Monster can withstand anything baby throws at it – literally!

Milk Monster is already making waves with consumers via social media and a targeted campaign is underway to drive consumer awareness and demand ahead of the UK product launch in January.

Milk Monster is available is single or twin packs and pre-orders have already been secured with a number of large high street retailers.

NImans Home has grown significantly throughout 2016, quickly establishing themselves as the first choice for baby tech with introductions such as Sleepybobo Gerry the Giraffe, Snuza and more with plenty of new and exciting brands in the pipeline for 2017.

To find out more about Milk Monster and to pre-order, please contact stephen.girldye@nimanshome.co.uk

www.milkmonster.com


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Myweeteepee rolls out to John Lewis ahead of Christmas

The multi award winning Myweeteepee range is about to roll out to John Lewis in the UK following a successful retail launch throughout 2016.

John Lewis are the first nationwide retailer to offer Myweeteepee and the initial launch will see two of the designs - Isabella and Sailor - available online in time for the key Christmas period.

Beautiful in design, the Myweeteepee teepees offer children a stunning place to read, play or build imagination in, and are strong and secure using solid wood poles which are rounded at the top for safety. The teepees are four sided which offers far more flexibility when finding the perfect space for setting up.

Myweeteepee bundles come with a non-slip lightly wadded matching floor mat, cute bunting flags and a carry bag. Each teepee is handcrafted using soft yet superior quality thick cotton canvas and applique designs are embroidered onto the canvas creating a beautiful finish.

Kate Janach, Owner of Myweeteepee, said: “John Lewis is a perfect fit for Myweetepee in terms of innovative, excellent quality and competitively priced products and we are thrilled at the opportunity to be included in their range ahead of the Christmas season. We are positive John Lewis customers will adore the range and look forward to a fruitful partnership going forward.”

For further information on stocking the gorgeous range of handcrafted teepees, please contact sales@myweeteepee.co.uk

www.myweeteepee.co.uk


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Progressive Preschool Awards 2016 Winners revealed

The winners of the Progressive Preschool Awards 2016 have been announced at a fabulous lunchtime awards ceremony held at The Dorchester Hotel in London's Mayfair.

The lavish event was attended by over 400 guests from right across the preschool sector and was hosted by acclaimed actor and comedian Charlie Baker.

"This year's awards ceremony was by far the most engaging yet,” said Rob Willis, publishing director of Progressive Preschool magazine, who owns and organises the awards. “With a record numbers of entries, expert judging panels and a real air of competition, today's results perfectly reflect the creativity and flair the preschool sector has to offer.”

The deserving winners reflect the high standards and dedication seen throughout the entire preschool industry, with individuals, retailers and suppliers receiving recognition for their strengths and successes throughout the past year. Christine Nicholls was particularly delighted to be presented with a prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award.

Best Supermarket Retailer of Preschool Products Winner
Tesco

Best Multiple Retailer of Preschool Products Winner
Mothercare

Best Mixed Retailer of Preschool Products Winner
Argos

Best Department Store Retailer of Preschool Products Winner
John Lewis

Best Online Retailer of Preschool Products Winner
Very.co.uk

Best Retail Initiative for the Preschool Sector Winner
Piccola for its 50th anniversary campaign

Best Independent Nursery Retailer Winner
Peppermint, Chiswick

Best Independent Apparel Retailer Winner
The Cotton Nappy Company, Leamington Spa

Best Independent Toy Retailer Winner
Toy Galaxy, Ealing

Best Independent Gift Retailer Winner
Natures Purest, York

Best Preschool Apparel and Accessories Range
Love To Dream Swaddle UP collection from Cheeky Rascals

Best Preschool Toy Range
Dear Zoo Wooden Toys Collection from Milly & Flynn

Best Preschool Outdoor Range
Feber Range Rover Sport 6V from Famosa

Best Preschool Publishing Range
Mr Men Adventures Series from Egmont Publishing

Best Preschool Home Décor, Furniture or Bedding Range
Nomi Highchair from DCUK

Best Preschool Gift Range
Farm Kitchen Collection from Orange Tree Toys

Best Preschool Mobility Range
Pockit Stroller from gb

Best Preschool Essentials Range
Skip Hop Zoo Range from Skip Hop UK

The Innovation Award
Pacif-i Connected Pacifier from Blue Maestro

Best Wholesaler or Distributor Award
Baby Brands Direct

The Marketing Award
Beatrix Potter's 150th anniversary

The Outstanding Achievement Award
Christine Nicholls

Photographs from the event can be viewed online at www.ppsawards.com, while the official event brochure can be seen here. Videos from the awards will be published soon.

For any further details about the Progressive Preschool Awards, please contact Max Publishing on 0207 700 6740, or email hello@max-publishing.co.uk


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