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“We’ve had an extremely busy start to 2019”

Cooneen’s Mike Coles on why the preschool apparel sector is currently booming.

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: Mike Coles, director, Cooneen

“Preschool was one of the few categories in our sector that has had a strong performance. Appetite for the consumption of licensed merchandise continues to grow.

We’ve had an extremely busy start to 2019 – best described as all hands to the pump! We just need to convert this activity into something meaningful – sales.

Take a walk round the high street and you will see that the listings are quite safe – Minnie and Mickey, Disney Princess, Spider-Man, Peppa Pig, Hey Duggee, PJ Masks, Bing and Harry Potter.

Exchange rates and high royalty rates are two of the main challenges. These ever rising costs are making it difficult to add value and detail into our designs. Only through our strong sourcing and experienced teams can we achieve the level of design expected from Cooneen.

For preschool, we are expecting an increase in Peppa Pig’s share of the market in 2019, while we also have significant interest in Moon and Me and all the Disney portfolio. We are planning to grow our traditional evergreens, including Peppa and Thomas. We also would like to see retail prices relax post Brexit, allowing a little more breathing space for suppliers and retailers alike.”

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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