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Exhibitions struggling?

I spent some time yesterday rereading all my 'rants' leading up to the Harrogate Nursery Fair in the last couple of years. And the themes were basically the same - why aren't you exhibiting and why aren't you visiting?

Well this year, more companies are exhibiting, many of them the big brands. Several are returning after a number of years' absence. Lucky for them, other companies came and kept the show alive during that time. However, there are still a number of brands who say they'll give it a miss for a few years and come back later (I assume they assume that others will keep the show going in the meantime). Others say a trade show doesn't work for them.

And yet... Some trade shows are flourishing. Kids Time in Kielce overflows its eight, yes EIGHT large halls. The exhibitors are there; the visitors come. Business for everyone is excellent. Other shows also flourish - Kind+Jugend in Cologne, CBME in Shanghai... It works for exhibitors and retailers there.

But here we struggle. Why is that? I'd love to hear from retailers who feel a day or two in Harrogate isn't worth it. Why? I'd love to hear from suppliers how they find new customers to replace those they lose, how they introduce new products and colours. Do get in touch!

A trade show (and for that matter the trade press) is a slightly different sort of business. They exist to provide a service - and hopefully a profit for those involved. Like any other business, if they don't get it right, the business won't succeed. But it's more than that. We may not need another company selling a better widget but we all need good trade fairs (and a good trade press!!!)

Many companies get their first toe in the water by exhibiting at a trade fair. Read any book on starting your own business and every one of them says exhibit, advertise in the trade press. If that is not there, what then? The books don’t say.

Weighing up whether you should come to Harrogate next month shouldn't be a simple case of cost versus sales. It should include how much you want to be part of a thriving industry with decent retailers; whether you want your retailers to succeed; whether you want more opportunity to interact with others.

I understand that there are a few stands left in the halls booked. Pity we couldn't fill a couple more halls. There are certainly enough suppliers out there. Give up the idea that, if you can't justify spending on a big impressive stand then it's best not to come at all. Just bring your newest and best and make the most of talking to visitors.

The last few paragraphs shouldn't let retailers off the hook. If you don't come, if you don't look at new exhibitors, if you don't take a chance with new brands, then your business will gradually fade away as well.

A good trade show is good for everyone. Let's make it so this this year!

- Cathy

PS: Next week’s Spotlight is on Slings & Carriers. If you have suitable products in your line, you should have heard from the Nursery Online team. If you haven’t, get in touch asap because it means our database is lacking!!

Our other February Spotlight is Bathtime with copy needed by the 18th. This is a much more diffuse product area, so help us by telling us about your products.

As usual, we offer not only exposure to the trade but we will also be highlighting your products to the consumer through Buying4Baby.info and our social networks. Again as usual, your contact for these is Lyn on 01304 374169 or 07971 700979 or email on lyn@nursery-online.com or Jane on jane@nursery-online.com.

And seeing it’s the first of the month, let me remind you that our Buying4Baby.info newsletter will be sent out next week to our growing list of consumers and our International will be going out on Feb 25th – a little later than usual as I shall be at Kid’s Time in Kielce the previous week. Contact me cathy@nursery-online.com or 0151 203 6301 if you want to be included.

Babycup First Cups “Perfect” for customers

If you’re a retailer or distributor who understands the benefits of promoting ‘Best for Baby’, then Babycup First Cups are a must.

The British-made mini open cups are not only a hit with health professionals and baby experts, but are also rated as “Perfect” by customers worldwide.

Founded by Sara Keel, a mum who wanted ‘best for baby’ for her own children, Babycup’s ‘First Cups’ have been scooping awards and winning praise since they launched. Now six years old, this growing brand is a global force and a strong proponent of helping consumers give their little ones a great start in life. Involved in health initiatives at home and overseas, and with Sara Keel an active member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood, this is a brand that knows a thing or two about childhood health.

Sara says this integrity and genuine involvement ‘walking the walk not just talking the talk’ is at the core of the Babycup philosophy.

And with customer comments of, “Absolutely love these little cups (and believe me I’ve tried all the brands!)” and, “Perfect and so cute! Thank you!” Babycup First Cups are a great little addition that brings big benefits for everyone.

For further information and to enquire about becoming a stockist please contact hello@babycup.co.uk or 01483 866081

www.babycup.co.uk


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Hippychick crowned best SME at South West Business Awards

Hippychick a family owned nursery accessories business based in Bridgwater Somerset are celebrating being crowned best SME at the South West Business Awards.

The best SME in the South West Award was collected by Co-Managing Director of Hippychick, Jeremy Minchin and coincides with Hippychick’s celebration of its 20th year in business in 2019. Hippychick was also a finalist in the Employer of the Year Awards category.

The South West Business and Community Awards are designed to recognise businesses, charities, and individuals that have made an outstanding contribution in the region. The nominations were judged by a panel of luminaries in the business world including Jackie Chappell (first women CEO of British Rail), Entrepreneur Alison Edgar and James Phipps, Chairman of Excalibur.

Hippychick, a £3.5 million turnover business, founded by Julia Minchin twenty years ago with its flagship product the Hippychick Hipseat, now employs 17 members of staff and distributes 1300 product lines, many of which are exclusive to Hippychick in the UK.

Commenting on the award win Jeremy Minchin said: "It’s been tough for the last couple of years with the market uncertainty surrounding Brexit and this continues to have a damaging impact on our business. But we are weathering the storm and have a fantastic team of people to help us navigate through it. It’s great news to win this award not only in our twentieth year, but amidst so many gloomy announcements about business prospects in the UK. Hippychick has been based in Somerset for the past twenty years. We intend to remain here and continue to be part of the UK business community for many more years to come."

www.hippychick.com


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Britax Römer expands its award-winning KIDFIX range with the launch of the 2-in-1 KIDFIX²

Britax Römer have annouced the launch of the KIDFIX² R and KIDFIX² S child car seats. Joining the award-winning highback booster KIDFIX range, the KIDFIX² R and KIDFIX² S are 2-in-1 child seats suitable for children in the Group 2/3 car seat stage.

They come with state-of-the-art safety features and the option to remove the backrest for children above 135cm for added flexibility.

The KIDFIX² R and KIDFIX² S are highback boosters up to 150cm in height, modelled after Britax Römer’s popular KIDFIX XP and KIDFIX XP SICT car seats. The high backrests come with softly padded side wings for comfort and side impact safety. The upper and lower belt guides ensure the seat belt is correctly positioned, while the SecureGuard helps protect the child’s abdominal area by adding a forth contact point to a three-point seat belt.

The KIDFIX² S comes with additional Side Impact Protection (SICT) which offers superior protection to a child in the event of a side collision. It reduces impact forces by minimising the distance between the car and the car seat and deforms to absorb the energy before it reaches a child.

Between the ergonomic headrest and V-shaped backrest, children will travel in cosy comfort from day one. The headrest protects and provides comfort for a child’s head and neck and can easily be adjusted to the correct position with one hand, even while the child is sitting in the seat. The unique, V-shaped backrest provides a spacious fit for children of all sizes. As the child grows and the car seat’s headrest is moved up, the V-shaped backrest ensures the child’s shoulders – typically the widest part of the body – corresponds to the widest part of the seat, up until the child reaches 150cm in height.

For children above 135cm, parents have the option to remove the backrest of the highback booster for instances when additional flexibility is required. The booster cushion of the KIDFIX² R and KIDFIX² S comes with cutting-edge safety features extensively tested in Britax Römer’s crash test centre. A unique belt clip optimally positions the vehicle seat belt directly over the shoulder of the child for the duration of the journey. The booster is installed using ISOFIX connectors and comes with the SecureGuard feature to ensure the lap belt is positioned over the pelvic bones of the child. European regulations followed in the UK require children to sit in a car seat until they are 135cm or 12 years of age, whichever comes first.

“We strongly believe children should travel in highback boosters until they have outgrown car seats. However, we understand today’s parents are occasionally faced with travel situations where alternatives are required,” said Moritz Walther, Marketing Director EMEA. “The KIDFIX²range provides an all-in-one solution for children taller than 135cm: highback booster security, integrated flexibility and superior Britax Römer quality, Made in Germany.”

The KIDFIX² R and KIDFIX² S are Britax Römer’s latest additions to join the award-winning KIDFIX range. All KIDFIX child seats have been designed, developed and manufactured in Germany. This enables Britax Römer to carry out numerous tests in its in-house crash test facility and guarantee the highest possible quality.

The KIDFIX² R and KIDFIX² S are now available to purchase, starting from £150.

For more information, please visit www.britax-roemer.co.uk


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The cutest friends join little ones on their teething journey this Spring!

This new year sees the launch of two new whimsical designs from the award-winning team at Cheeky Chompers.

Introducing Fox & Friends and Unicorn Love, two enchanting prints that will feature across the brands iconic Neckerchew and much-loved Comfortchew, as well as the Neckerbib; each one promises to give little ones a super cute start to their teething journey!

Set to launch this month, Fox & Friends is a gorgeous olive-green bib, featuring cheeky grey and orange foxes, accompanied by other adorable woodland animals including Hedgehogs and Bunnies; there is a classic grey on the reverse. The second print, also launching this new year, is Unicorn Love, a striking bubble-gum pink design emblazoned with the mythical creatures, hearts and stars. The 2 in 1 design has a gorgeous pink and white stripe on the reverse.

With the fox and unicorn trends showing no sign of slowing down, Cheeky Chompers are bang on style for 2019! Both prints are sure to make a trendy addition to little ones’ accessories collection!

The multi-award winning Neckerchew is a super absorbent bandana bib, with the brands signature chewy teether attached – meaning no more lost teethers. The Comfortchew features the print on one side, with a snuggly fleece on the reverse. With stimulating ribbon tags and an elasticated link for attaching to baby’s wrist, cot, car seat, buggy or dummy, it provides comfort at all times. Not to mention the Neckerbib, a lovely addition to your little ones’ outfit, available in a twinset to catch any dribble disasters!

All three products are sure to make life that little bit easier for the parents of teething tots!

Commenting on the new prints Julie Wilson, co-founder of Cheeky Chompers said: “We are thrilled to be launching these new designs. Both prints are super cute, and we hope everyone loves them as much as we do. The Fox & Friends print is great for the subtler wardrobes, whereas the Unicorns are for the mythical fanatics – it’s been such a popular trend we couldn’t miss out on the fun!”

www.cheekychompers.com


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Safehead launching its new collection in Nuremberg

Safehead are showcasing their brand new collection for the first time at the Spielwarenmesse Trade show at Nuremberg, Germany.

Experience the Spirit of Play at the largest trade fair for Toys, Hobbies and Leisure. The “Ready, Steady, Play!” trend of 2019 combines movement with heaps of fun – both indoors and outdoors – encouraging kids to leave their smartphones in a corner and forget about them. This trend gives children improved body awareness, reducing the risk of injury.

Safehead are excited to launch their "never seen before" collection at the Spielwarenmesse this year.

The show is taking place from Wednesday, 30th January to Sunday 3rd February 2019.

Safehead are located in Hall 3A / D-14.


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Mountain Buggy luxury collection

Award-winning baby goods brand, Mountain Buggy, has pushed the boundaries and tested conventional nursery styling once again, with the launch of a new luxury collection - empowering parents to live life without limit, in style.

The New Zealand brand now offers a range of buggies and matching accessories in four inspired, iconic styles including herringbone - a new, distinct twill weave fabric combined with classic tailoring; influenced by Savile Row - as well as the much loved nautical, pepita and geo luxury designs.

In a world first, Mountain Buggy launches a luxury collection that showcases its iconic 3-wheel platform. Beautifully engineered, the fabric seat sling allows the child to sit snug inside the frame, delivering superior manoeuvrability, stability and kerb pop across all terrain.

Showcasing renewed style, without compromising the brand’s authentic all terrain heritage, these buggies sit effortlessly alongside Mountain Buggy’s popular 4-wheel luxury offerings.

Function and aesthetics working hand in hand; for parents wanting world class engineering and fashion forward style.

Visit mountainbuggy.com for more information.


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Be soothed to sleep with the Infantino Fox Nightlight

From its much-loved range, Infantino, the brand creating smartly designed products for happy parenting, is thrilled to unveil the Fox Musical Soother and Night Light Projector.

Babies and toddlers will love this multi-purpose night light, as the Infantino fox and its adorable cub certainly have a few tricks up their sleeve when it comes to sleep.

The ingenious night light soothes little ones to sleep by playing relaxing lullaby music and nature sounds for 20 minutes. There are five comforting songs to choose from and three nature sounds. Parents can also adjust the volume.

If that wasn’t enough, the fox’s tail gently moves and projects a colourful light display onto baby’s nursery wall, to lull them into a peaceful slumber in no time. The beautiful light display, which is adjustable, depicts stars and clouds in an array of colours and creates a visual interest which little ones will love, as it promotes eye tracking and focus. And for the best bit – the Fox Cub can be removed! Especially designed to provide comfort wherever little ones go, the baby fox can be held throughout the night or be placed in the cot to help little ones fall asleep. It’s also a great feature for when travelling, or for siblings that both want to enjoy the night light. It can even be used to assist little ones who are toilet training.

Like all products from Infantino, the Fox Musical Soother and Night Light Projector is a true investment for parents. This clever night light has thought of everything and is sure to be a welcomed product to support sleep deprived parents everywhere!

For retail enquiries, please contact Jérôme Lomer, Senior National Sales Director at Infantino on 07921 212072 or email Jerome@infantino.com


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Milton launch new plant-based Antibacterial Hand Gel that kills 99.9% of germs

Milton, the leading expert in sterilising, today announce the launch of its new plant based Antibacterial Hand Gel, designed to help ward off the winter bugs. The gel is effective in just 30 seconds on bacteria, mycobacteria, fungi, viruses and 99.9% of germs.

100% plant based, the active ingredient is produced from beetroot certified to be GMO free. The gel is fragrance and colour free, reducing the risk of an allergic skin reaction. It is hypoallergenic and tested dermatologically making it ideal for multiple daily use on both big and little hands.

The 100 ml pack is ideal for on-the-go hand cleaning and is designed to fit neatly into the parents or children’s bags. The 500 ml features two different types of pumps, a long pump for professional use and a shorter pump for retail use

Christine Chevalier, Brand Manager at Milton said, “We are in the middle of ‘germ season’ and the first way to protect yourself and your family is by ensuring everyone’s hands are clean. Our new plant based Antibacterial hand gel does the job quickly and the 100ml pack is perfect for parents to take out and about with them. Employers can help keep their employees safe by providing the 500ml version in the workplace. “

The 100ml version retails at £2.26 and the 500ml versions retails at £3.99. The packaging is 100% recyclable.


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Brand new from Nattou!

Hippychick have just launched not one but two new Nattou collections. Mia the bunny & Basile the bear and Fanny deer & Oscar the fox.

These cuddly characters are a neutral hue – perfect for any expectant parent and come in many different guises, from soft comforters to growth charts sofas. Nattou’s attention to detail in their plush toys and nursery accessories is what really sets them apart. The first toys a baby is given are often treasured for years to come, a companion that they will never be able to bring themselves to part with.

The perfect first birthday gift are Nattou’s rockers, not only do these soft ride ons look the part, they are also extremely safe being one of the only rockers on the market to have a safety harness and non-tip feet.

For more information these new ranges or any of the Nattou ranges please visit www.hippychick.com/nattou or call 01278 434440


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Trish Cartwright – 1961-2019

It is with great sadness that Hauck have to announce the sudden death of our colleague Trish Cartwright.

Trish joined us in 2004 and has been a key member of the Customer Service Team ever since. She will be greatly missed by all of us here and by many of our customers who came into contact with her on a day to day basis.

Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this sad time.


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Obaby announce Amy Childs as official Brand Ambassador

Leading nursery furniture brand, Obaby, are delighted to announce television personality, business woman and Celebrity Mum of the Year winner, Amy Childs, as the new official ambassador and face of the brand.

Obaby have become a household name for nursery furniture with award winning collections including its most recent Stamford sleigh range. This strong partnership sees the brand take its next steps in positioning itself at the forefront of the market as it introduces new collections which are ever evolving to the needs of their customers.

For Amy, who has two beautiful children of her own and very much understands the demands and needs of modern parents, this was a natural progression in her career. Having appeared on the first two series of The Only Way is Essex and since gone on to carve a career as a successful business woman, model and fashion designer, this is an exciting move and one very close to her heart.

Darren Pumfrett, Managing Director at Obaby, says: “We are so happy that Amy is working with us. She is a very busy lady and as well as having a young family, she is a successful business woman and, after having our products for her children’s rooms, she understands exactly what it is like to be a parent and the needs and pressures on them to find reliable, safe and attractive furniture to fit their children and lifestyle demands.

“This partnership came about through a meeting of minds and Amy can see huge potential in our brand and where we want to push it to and we can’t wait to grow together and show everyone what we have in store for this year.”

Amy Childs added: “I am honestly so excited to be the face of such a fantastic and trusted brand. The furniture is amazing quality, useful for all parents and children alike, and is so versatile that it will complement any child’s nursery. It’s amazing. I have had for my Polly, their furniture from since she was born and it’s been great, I can’t wait for you to see the exciting plans we have for the year ahead.”


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Consider China

Mary Kernohan is the Head of Business Development at online brand monitoring firm, SnapDragon. As part of an exclusive five-part series for Nursery Online, Mary will be offering her top five tips to nursery brands on how they can protect their products from being targeted by online fakes and copycats. This week, she discusses why all brands should consider China.

Manufacturing in China offers many advantages, and their factories are second to none. However, as we all know, counterfeiting in China is a big problem. If you chose to manufacture in there, it’s important that you insist upon a non-disclosure, non-use, non-circumvention (NNN) agreement. The reason being that this document can be more effectively enforced in China, and is better than a standard UK or US NDA. It’s really important to make sure that this is signed before sharing any information about your product in order to keep your IP as safe and secure as possible.

Counterfeiting is a growing industry, especially in markets that are thriving, such as baby and nursery. But remember, the more popular your product becomes, the more at risk you are of being targeted by the fakers. So don’t let the bad guys win. Be vigilant, be alert and you will win.


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