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“The health of the preschool sector is very good”

Aykroyd & Sons’ Sion Aykroyd on why he’s hoping for considerable growth in the category this year.

While the licensed preschool apparel category is a healthy one, it is not without its challenges.

Uncertainty around Brexit, cautious retailers and lack of shelf space are all concerns, however key new and established properties are causing excitement and appetite for product seems undiminished.

Our sister title, PreschoolNews caught up with some of the key licensees in the space to find out how 2018 was and how 2019 is shaping up.

Today: Sion Aykroyd, sales and licensing executive, Aykroyd & Sons

“2018 overall was quite challenging, with Brexit uncertainty looming and a fragile retail climate filtering through affecting the retailers’ confidence in buying. These have resulted in less shelf space and less options on licensed product. Combine this with a weak pound versus the dollar and it’s a recipe for a perfect retail storm!

PAW Patrol, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, PJ Masks and Hey Duggee are currently very hot and warm weather has boosted early sales on swimwear and shortie pyjamas.

The health of the preschool sector is very good – there is plenty of variety. Toy Story 4 will be huge, plus Top Wing, The Gruffalo, Elf on the Shelf and The Lion King remake also looks stunning. And, of course, Frozen 2 is on its way.

Based on the strong line-up of movies and a combination of new and classic licences, I would certainly hope to see considerable growth on the preschool category versus last year.”

This feature originally appeared in the March/April 2019 edition of Progressive Preschool. To read the full publication, click on this link.

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