Nursery Online - Latest News
Yes or no?

It's been a week of contradictions.

I know from discussions that if a well-known celeb gushes about your product then hits on your website will soar and sales will peak. So why do Mums swear that social media has little effect on their purchasing?

Then I hear that trust in brands such as Mothercare are at an all time high. At the same time, I learn that Mothercare sales are down some 23% in store and 12% online. Are parents not buying trustworthy brands?

Then of course, there's Brexit! There'll be a really wonderful deal; there'll be No Deal. No Deal will be fine; No Deal will be a disaster! The falling pound is great as it make exports cheaper; it will reduce margins, push up inflation and cause multiple bankruptcies.

I read that a lot of reviews online are some sort of scam either talking up the product or damning the competition. Then I learn that good reviews are vital to sell product.

I hear from some quarters that the nursery industry is doing just fine. Others claim we're on the brink of disaster.

Wherever the truth lies, one thing is for certain, things ain't what they used to be! We all have to work harder and smarter to make a profit. We all have to change the way we do things.

Manufacturers are looking at ways to make their products cheaper without necessarily cutting back on quality. Suppliers are looking at their budgets and cutting back, trying to save a few pence here and there. Retailers are rethinking what they stock. Can they improve the 'customer experience'?

Some of this is good. Every business has areas where, for whatever reason, certain activities are no longer needed and can be cut back. Do we really need to... is a question we should always be asking! New ventures need to be examined.

But it can go too far! Not exhibiting at a trade fair can save quite a lot of money! It also means the loss of future sales - and therefore future profit - and future contributions to overheads. Which means more cuts in the future!

Not visiting a trade fair such as Kind+Jugend or Harrogate saves on travel costs yet it means missing out on finding new products. It means missing out on learning the trends in styling and colours. Getting that wrong results in lower sales which means lower .... You get the picture!

Will the children of the babies now being born buy all their baby products online, shipping direct from China? Or will they revert to buying in shops where they get personalised advice on the best products for them? Will they be buying cheap, flimsy products or looking for quality?

The latest trends in tech and fashion is all about stores acting as showrooms, service points and educators.

We could do no worse!

- Cathy

PS: Next week's Spotlight is on Baby Showers and includes anything that could be given as a gift. If your products come into this category, you need to be talking about it. We'll need copy by Monday so get your skates on!

Next is Potties and Toilet Training which has a Copydate of August 23rd.

And after that it's time for our Kind+Jugend Previews. So far, we've had a huge response! We can offer several opportunities to get your message out there. Firstly there are our Specials. These are emails dedicated to your brand and we only have a few slots left as we don't want to fill up everybody's Inbox!! Next there are our Previews - a good place for a synopsis of what your brand offers and your product launches. And finally there are a couple of banner ads still available in these (interested? Then grab them while you can!).

All this is a lot of work for our team so getting your copy in early will help a lot. And procrastinators could easily miss out.

Kind + Jugend 2019: Innovation Awards celebrate the creativity of the baby and toddler industry

More than 200 applications for the Kind + Jugend Innovation Award have been submitted this year for evaluation by a jury of trade journalists and health experts, a new record.

Following intensive consultation, the jury nominates a selection of products for a special event that is regularly one of the crowd pullers at Kind + Jugend. The Innovation Awards are then presented to the eight winners in eight categories on the first day of the trade fair. The award is the most important recognition of innovations in the baby and toddler sector, and is also highly respected outside of the industry.

The special show with the presentation of all nominated products can be found in Hall 11.1 right beside the Trend Stage.


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From Bottles to Bottoms!

There's some plastic fantastic news for reusable nappies as TotsBots become first company in the world to make the waterproof fabric for their nappies out of plastic bottles.

Now giving even better reasons to choose cloth, parents can reduce, reuse and recycle, one nappy at a time.

The waterproof nappy fabric, previously knitted using virgin polyester yarn, is now made from super soft recycled polyester yarn derived from plastic bottle waste. Specially developed for TotsBots, the brand new fabric is made to exact specifications to deliver the same award-winning performance that TotsBots are known for. It's Oekotex certified too, meaning parents can be safe in the knowledge there are no irritating chemicals next to their baby’s skin.

Parents who choose to cloth bum can divert upward of 5000 nappies from landfill per child, and now with TotsBots nappies using plastic bottle waste, they are even better for the environment than before. On average, two bottles will be saved from landfill with every nappy.

Company Director, Fiona Smyth, commented; “With over eight million nappies going to landfill every day, if even a quarter of parents switched to cloth that would be a whole lot of plastic bottles and nappy waste being diverted from landfill. We really hope this will inspire other companies to follow suit.”

As the tide turns on reducing plastic waste, and the war on plastics gains momentum, this is a great time to offer your customers an environmentally friendly alternative to single use disposables.

Get in touch with us on 0141 774 6473, or on hello@totsbots.com if you’d like more information on becoming a stockist.


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Gift to hospital in recognition of exceptional care

The outstanding care by Evelina London Children’s Hospital, part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, resulting in the full recovery of an extremely sick toddler, inspired a gift from baby brand Little Chick London to help make life a little easier for babies born early or sick and their parents during their stay at the hospital.

Little Chick London donated a quantity of two of its best-selling products to the Evelina London neonatal unit – the Little Chick London Comfort Nest; and Twinkle Lights Bedtime Soother – both of which help to make young babies feel safe, comfortable and soothed. The company also intends to make regular donations to make a little bit of difference to the lives of more families on an ongoing basis.

Rachelle Harel of Little Chick London explains: “In summer 2018, my little granddaughter Evie, who incidentally was born at St Thomas’ Hospital which is on the same site as Evelina London, fell extremely ill with pneumonia resulting in a collapsed lung. The prompt action of staff in the Evelina London neonatal unit saved her life and she is now fully recovered, but the time of her illness was extremely distressing not only for Evie, but our entire family. Evelina London staff were amazing, and we felt relieved to be in such capable hands and confident in their ability to put her back on the road to recovery.

Being in this situation made me realise how stressful it must be for new parents with premature and sick babies who have to spend weeks and maybe months in the neonatal ward of the hospital. As a co-director of Little Chick London, which has a range of products designed specifically to make life simpler, safer and more comfortable for new babies and their parents, I felt compelled to gift some of our products to hopefully make life even the tiniest bit easier for other families during one of the most stressful times of their lives.”

The Little Chick London Comfort Nest is fully breathable and made from naturally antimicrobial bamboo providing a cosy, soft ‘nest’ which helps to make young babies feel safe and secure and consequently settle more easily. The Twinkle Lights Bedtime Soother is a gorgeous, plush night light which projects a starry display in the baby’s sleep environment and plays a range of soothing soft sounds. Both of these products are washable, meaning they can be used by patients in the neonatal ward during their stay and then washed ready for the next baby.

Elaine Wood, neonatal sister lead for family liaison at Evelina London, said: “We are delighted Evie has recovered and is now doing well. Our neonatal unit provides 24-hour care to more than 1,000 premature and sick babies a year and has some of the best survival rates in the UK.

“We are very thankful for the generous donations from Little Chick London which will be used to support patients’ developmental play. Spending time in the neonatal unit can be extremely tough for families so these gifts will help to bring some joy and comfort to their stay.”


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#bosombunch breastfeeding images launch to empower mums

Family brand, vital baby®, will be launching their new #bosombunch campaign during the first week of August this year to tie in with World Breastfeeding Week.

Dedicated to feeding babies and infants for over 35 years, vital baby® is focused on offering the best for mum, baby and family, and wants to give every new mum the confidence and comfort she requires for the most natural and relaxing breastfeeding experience for her and her little one.

Aligning with the objectives of World Breastfeeding Week, images of breastfeeding mums and top tips will be shared on vital baby® ’s Instagram Stories. vital baby® will be encouraging as many mums as possible to celebrate breastfeeding and get talking, sharing as many tips, images, feelings and thoughts about breastfeeding as possible. These will be intermingled with alternative products for when a mum chooses to combination feed.

The #bosombunch are a group of mums who feel comfortable sharing images of breastfeeding their babies to encourage other women to share their breastfeeding pictures with confidence and pride.

Tracey Gilbert, Customer and Marketing Manager, at vital baby® comments: “We created the campaign as we believe that breastfeeding is a natural experience and as such, we want to empower mums to feel confident and beautiful when breastfeeding.”

Dean Tollman, Director of vital baby®, adds: “We felt passionately about getting involved with World Breastfeeding Week, especially as the campaign marks the anniversary of the Innocenti Declaration* – where participants at the WHO/UNICEF policymakers' meeting in 1990 pledged to provide Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding. They stated that efforts should be made to increase women's confidence in their ability to breastfeed and obstacles to breastfeeding within the health system, the workplace and the community must be eliminated – we applaud these values.”

The benefits of breastfeeding are well known. The vital baby® NURTURE™ range of breastfeeding products and accessories ensures mum has the choice to offer all the benefits of breast milk to her baby at all times, even when she cannot be with them. The range includes two breast pumps – one manual and one electric, breast pads and milk storage bags, designed for ease and convenience for mum.

For further information about vital baby® NURTURE™ products for breastfeeding or any other products from the range visit www.nurture.vitalbaby.com

*Click here for declaration


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Introducing Profold, Micralite's lightest and most compact stroller

ProFold is the latest addition to Micralite’s range of all-terrain strollers that have been designed to encourage family adventures every day. At just 7kg ProFold is the brand’s most compact and lightweight model to date.

The ProFold has been thoughtfully created to overcome the challenges faced by parents in the city and also when travelling. Suitable from birth, there is no compromise on usability or comfort for parent or baby. Together with a soft bamboo liner, the added four-wheel suspension offers the smoothest journey possible on all surfaces.

The ProFold is the perfect stroller for adventurous parents who want to explore whatever the weather. It is made from waterproof fabrics that have UPF50+ protection and also comes with a 100% waterproof storm cover.

Small enough to fit in any car boot or overhead train storage, ProFold is also within the cabin baggage allowance for British Airways, Jet 2 and Easyjet. The compact stroller features an intuitive one-handed fold and free stands when folded for easy storage. It also has a useful shoulder strap. The large basket offers plenty of space for bulkier items, while the hood pocket is useful for keeping day-to-day essentials within easy reach.

Key features

  • Suitable from birth to 15kg
  • Ultra compact fold
  • Weighs 7kg
  • Intuitive one-handed fold
  • Free stands when folded
  • Weatherproof fabrics that are 100% waterproof with UPF50+ protection
  • Premium bamboo liner
  • Rain cover included
  • Four-way suspension
  • Handy storage in a large easy access basket
  • Extra storage pouches on hood

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Make play time an adventure with Infantino

The play experts at Infantino, the global brand passionate about happy parenting, are thrilled to unveil their latest creation. Introducing 4 in 1 Grow with me Playland, a multi-function play centre that ensures play time really is a journey of fun discovery!

Promising to encourage classic play, as well as allow children to develop their skills and have fun, the 4 in 1 Grow with me Playland is sure to bring out a little one’s wild side. With its bright colours, engaging characters, air powered ball popping, flashing lights and funny songs and sounds, little ones will be entertained for hours.

The action-packed activity center has been thoughtfully designed to support staged learning and provides endless play opportunities from nine months to three years. The engaging toy encourages gross motor development, as well as helping little ones reach various milestones such as independent sitting and standing.

This multi-function activity centre is fantastically interactive and comes with a huge variety of features. Six different grow-with-me games engage little minds as they can watch the balls roll, pop, and bounce to silly music and bright lights.

Tots will be fascinated as they watch the balls shoot out of the zebra’s head, powered by a two-speed air flow, and fall down the hippo’s pinball slide. Little ones will also enjoy catching the balls themselves or in the monkey cup as they magically pop out! Little hands can press the hippo’s levers or drop the balls into the cheeky character’s mouth to watch them jump and bounce around the light-up plinko board. If that wasn’t enough, they can also play pin bowl by throwing the coconut into the monkeys to be rewarded with sounds, fun colours, this game also supports an early introduction to numbers.

The 4 in 1 Grow with me Playland is quite simply mesmerising and will help develop hand eye coordination and little ones will love getting a reaction every time they play. Parents will also love that it easily folds into compact storage.

Commenting on this exciting launch, Nivi Bhide, Marketing Manager at Infantino said: “We are thrilled to finally unveil our 4 in 1 Grow with me Playland. Our Infantino play experts have been hard at work creating this toy and we are all so pleased with the result. It truly incorporates so many elements of educational fun and will amaze and engage little ones as they develop.”

RRP: £39.99

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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Booming business in Shanghai

Ten Baby Products Association members took advantage of the booming Chinese economy, which reports a 6% growth rate, by participating in the UK Pavilion at CBME Shanghai in July.

Brushbaby, My Carry Potty, Tum Tum, Sweet Dreamers, Little Butterfly, Cussons, Vivatinell, Colorland, Bickiepegs and Weybury Hildreth all reported a fantastic show – apparently visitor numbers increased 30% on last year.

More details will be available on the Association’s website at www.thebpa.eu shortly.


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Celebrate baby's first Christmas with Green People's new-look Silent Night Gift Set

This Christmas Green People is helping to give parents the gift of sweet dreams with their beautiful sparkly NEW-LOOK Silent Night Gift Set.

Suitable for delicate infant skin and babies that are prone to eczema and skin allergies, this perfect-for-parents present is priced £16.50 and contains:

Organic Babies Soothing Baby Salve 100ml - Green People’s best-selling natural rescue salve softens and soothes baby’s skin. This sleep-promoting salve can be used on baby’s face, hands, body and bottom to quickly calm irritation and contains essential lavender oil to help to lull restless tots into the land-of-nod.

Organic Babties Baby Wash & Shampoo - lavender 100ml - This calming, natural Baby Wash contains certified organic ingredients. Made without skin-irritating SLS, this bubbly baby bath product uses naturally foaming Yucca and Coconut extracts to create a soothing bath soak that gently cleanses ultra-sensitive skin, whilst protecting against dryness and irritation.

As organic infant skincare experts Green People believes that with the right ingredients, developing a soothing infant bed and bath routine can become child’s play.

An ideal stocking-filler for parents whose Christmas wish is to support their baby’s delicate skin barrier from the start, this special edition skin care set is tested by midwives and contains plant-based organic ingredients that comfort tired infants whilst gently soothing sleep-disrupting skin complaints.

  • Calming Lavender oil helps fractious littles minds to unwind and nod-off and delivers skin-balancing benefits whilst they snooze.
  • Gentle Chamomile delivers anti-inflammatory action to reduce redness and restore skin-softness.
  • Skin-supporting Shea Butter contains Omega 3& 6 and Vitamin E - a vital vitamin for building a strong skin barrier.
  • Hydrating Calendula contain lots of irritation-reducing actives. These soothe inflamed skin and can help safeguard skin against eczema, nappy rash and other topical conditions.

Green People’s Silent Night gift set will be available from 1st September 2019


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Deadline approaches for Progressive Preschool Marketing Award entries

There are just two weeks left to submit your Marketing Award entries to the The Progressive Preschool Awards 2019 – the trade awards for the toy, nursery and preschool product and retail sector.

The Marketing Award is a very special accolade which celebrates amazing marketing campaigns at both trade and consumer level. This award is judged by a panel of hugely experienced marketing experts who will consider the campaign’s planning, execution, and measured success – not how much money was behind it.

Previous winners have included a wide range of initiatives, such as the grassroots campaign group Let Toys Be Toys (2013), Little Tikes’ ‘Little Trikers’ campaign (2015) and In The Night Garden’s collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society (2017) and Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddles Walk with eOne (2018).

Accepting the award for last year’s win, Katie Rollings, svp UK licensing, family and brands for eOne, commented; “We are honoured that Peppa Pig won and would like to thank our long-standing charity partner Save the Children for its commitment to making the Muddy Puddles Walk a truly inspiring fundraising campaign… we look forward to many more years ahead.”

This year’s Marketing Award – which is free to enter – is sponsored by Azaria PR, which is offering free impartial advice to any companies looking to enter the category.

If you’ve been working on something a bit special this year and would like to enter your marketing campaign into the Progressive Preschool Awards, details on how to submit your free entry are included on this form (PDF) or this form (word doc). All submissions must be received by Friday 16 August 2019.

For more information, please visit the dedicated PPS Awards website or for entry guidance, contact the Max headquarters in London on 0207 700 6740.


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Upgrade to Maxi-Cosi’s best loved car seat wins Which? Best Buy!

Maxi-Cosi is proud to announce that the upgrade to their best-selling Pebble Plus baby car seat, the Pebble Pro i-Size, has received a Which? Best Buy.

Praising the car seat for ease of use, comfort and excellent crash test results, Maxi-Cosi’s Pebble Pro i-Size gained the accolade following the rigorous Which? testing process.

Combining i-Size (ECE R129) safety standards with comfort and style, the Pebble Pro i-Size offers newborns a better fit and lying position with its innovative baby-hugg inlay. As a new feature for the Pebble Pro i-Size, the headrest part of the inlay may be removed as baby grows to ensure that they always have the perfect fit. As well as its outstanding safety features, including impact-absorbing materials in the top and side wings, the Pebble Pro i-Size features luxurious soft materials and cushioning, ensuring it ticks all the boxes for protection, functionality and comfort.

Scoring a brilliant 5-star safety rating, Which? praised that the Pebble Pro i-Size has "a very low risk of injury in a front crash and a low injury risk in a side crash."

Creating products that are safe and easy to use as standard is Maxi-Cosi’s mission and the Pebble Pro i-Size is no exception. Which? commented that the "padded insert, to make the seat feel snug for newborns, holds them in a better position when travelling." This reiterates Maxi-Cosi’s ethos: ‘it’s what’s inside that counts’.

Marketing Manager of Maxi-Cosi UK and Ireland, Debbie Wakefield, said: "The Pebble Pro i-Size is an exciting update to our existing Pebble Plus car seat and a fantastic addition to our extensive infant carrier collection. As a market leader, the Pebble Plus has been a hero car seat for a number of years, and our constant drive for continual product development means we are now able to bring our customers all the benefits of the original product, with the very latest technological additions. Which? tests products to the highest standards, so we are thrilled that our latest car seat has received a Best Buy."

The Pebble Pro i-Size is part of the 3wayFamily, a solution from birth up to four years in combination with the 3wayFix base, Jade car cot and the Pearl Pro i-Size. The Pebble Pro i-Size will be available in the following colours: Nomad Black, Nomad Grey and Sparkling Grey. The RRP is £199.


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Joie extends Official Family Partner status to Liverpool FC Women's team

Joie and Liverpool FC Women’s team have announced a multi-year partnership deal that sees Joie become the team’s first Official Family Partner and Global Baby Gear Partner.

Already the Official Family Partner of the men’s team, Joie today becomes the principal sponsor of LFC Women with its logo taking an on-shirt position at the tail of the jersey. Standard Chartered now takes front of the shirt position, extending its long-running partnership with the club.

The announcement comes as Joie hosts the Women’s team on its first pre-season tour with the men’s team which will see them make three stops across the US where they will be focused on training, meeting supporters and taking part in community activities.

The first stop saw Joie take four members of the team to visit the Michiana Echo Under 12’s players. Jade Bailey, Melissa Lawley, Jess Clarke, Ashley Hodson and Vicky Jepson all went along to help to deliver a special coaching session with the girls. They also presented this season’s LFC Women home shirts to the team and invited them to their game against Cleveland Ambassadors at Notre Dame University, courtesy of Joie.

Last year, Joie launched an exclusive range of Liverpool FC branded products, as well as working with the men’s Club to deliver a host of family focused events.

The partnership with the women’s team will bring the Joie brand to millions of LFC fans around the world.

David Welsh, Senior Managing Director at Joie, said: “At Joie, we are all about families, and we’re delighted to expand our support of the Liverpool FC family to the LFC Women’s team. We look forward to continuing our partnership together, supporting families in need and inspiring the next generation of LFC fans.”

Peter Moore, Chief Executive, Liverpool Football Club and Chairman, LFC Women said: “It’s fantastic to see that Standard Chartered is strengthening its involvement with the LFC Women’s team. And for a family focused brand like Joie, it’s also a very positive message to see them investing in both the women’s and men’s teams, and hugely positive to see brands continuing to back diverse and inclusive organisations. We’re very pleased we can count on their support.”

Vicky Jepson, Manager, LFC Women, said: “It’s really galvanising as a team to have the support of brands like Joie and Standard Chartered for the next few years. We’re really looking forward to working with them beyond our pre-season tour.”


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JMDA’s grand Queen’s Award presentation

On Wednesday 17th July at their Head Office in Pershore, Worcestershire, JMDA Design were presented the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2019 for International Trade by The Hon Lady Morrison, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Worcestershire, surrounded by Worcestershire dignitaries.

The Vice Lord-Lieutenant The Hon Lady Morrison awarded a Grant of Appointment to JMDA in recognition of winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2019 for International Trade and presented an engraved glass trophy and a scroll signed by Her Majesty The Queen.

A summers’ afternoon at the JMDA Design offices was the picture-perfect location to receive the highest achievement for services to international trade. With the CEO of Hereford and Worcester Chamber of Commerce, Sharon Smith, and the Lord and Lady Mayoress of Pershore, to name just a few dignitaries in attendance, the presentation signified 27 years’ of ground-breaking, innovative design of children’s car safety seats.

Founders and Directors of JMDA Derrick and Cherril Barker accepted the Queen’s Award in a momentous occasion saying, “In a room filled with business associates, family, friends, our UK team and colleagues from China and Italy, who have contributed to the design of 97 children’s car safety seats to date, our vision to reduce serious injury to children from road traffic accidents continues to grow. We feel extremely proud of all that we have achieved; welcoming The Hon Lady Morrison, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Worcestershire to our offices and being presented the award in front of so many guests was the highest point in our company’s history so far.”

Honoured to be recognised for their outstanding contribution to child car seat safety globally, JMDA is one of only 201 organisations nationally to be recognised for excellence with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise this year. JMDA also demonstrated impressive growth over the last three years and a pedigree backed by winning many awards throughout their 27 years’ in business.

For more information about JMDA Design and their Queen’s Award for Enterprise please call 01386 426 100, or email marketing@jmda.co.uk.


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