ABC Kids Expo returned to Las Vegas last week and Inglesina’s UK Director, Jonathan Feingold, was there. He sent Nursery Online the following report:
“The ABC baby show is a long, long way from home – and I don’t just mean the 11 hour flight or the 8 hour time difference; the show itself is simply much further removed from the baby shows of the UK and Europe!
Firstly, the style of the show is very different, located as it is in an enormous entertaining room within a casino, complete with patterned carpets so colourful and busy they overpower the huge space.
The second thing that strikes you is the low-key displays that in general are more the norm. The significant difference is actually the merchandise that’s on offer, even from well-known global brands such as Britax (not Britax- Roma, no fight between names here) where the stars of the show were the enormous metal-rimmed wagons!
Here in Europe, shows are dominated by pushchairs and prams. In Las Vegas it was dominated by wagons – of all shapes & sizes.
Hi-tech wagons with lights, convertible wagons and wagons that were simply huge! Where three-wheeler jogging strollers once dominated the USA exhibitions and market, wagons now take their place.
The biggest companies in the wagon business were happy to show off all the features and benefits of these complex and roomy child-friendly mobile spaces.
We used to go to the USA shows to see innovation and the ‘next big thing’. You’ve guessed it – I think I saw the next biggest thing – and it’s called a wagon!
The question is, are the markets diverging or will we follow slowly?
The show also had a wide variety of items from car seats and strollers to furniture, cots, cribs, highchairs and every possible baby accessory imaginable. There were also plenty of traditional travel systems and pushchairs from brands we already know, such as Chicco, UPPABaby etc. – the same as are sold around the world. But there were also many unfamiliar brands – or new ones with very different products.
From Europe there was Inglesina and Peg Perego and even from the UK, Egg launched in the USA with a distributor [note: no wagons here!]
The show was quite large (and full) but smaller than previous years – about half the size of last year’s Harrogate show.
There were no further rooms available in the Paris Casino so its size was limited and next year it will be moving to the Mandalay Bay Casino which has a much bigger space but a less centric location.
The big question was – is it busy since the demise of mass chain retailer (BuyBuy Baby) just a few weeks earlier?
Yes it was; many small retailers visited as well as the departments stores and the big box retailers – and of course, internet retailers en masse. International visitors were not plentiful but there were some, including me.