This month Swandoo annouced Bébélephant as their first UK distributor. They are excited to be on the threshold of launching their first i-Size infant car seat “Albert” in the UK. We talked with business develop manager Nicole MCGlone of Swandoo about this new distribution and the market in the UK.

Why did Swandoo choose Bébélephant as UK distributor?

Bébélephant is one of the UK’s largest independent distributors in the nursery sector with a track record of bringing innovative, exciting, and high-quality products to the market. It is also a family business and works with a wide range of well-known brands as well as Entre-/Mumpreneurs starting out in the nursery sector. We believe that this speaks volumes for their versatility and dedication and we have been able to build a good rapport with them over the past few months. Elliot (Managing Director, Bébélephant) is always on the look out for innovative and exciting products. He has been tracking Swandoo and waiting for the Albert I-Size launch in the UK. They will be presenting Albert to their retailers at their showcase this week.

Swandoo steigt in den britischen Markt ein: Ein Interview mit der Business Development Managerin Nicole MCGlone
Nicole MCGlone, Business Development Manager at Swandoo

What are the differences between the rest of Europe and the UK market?

Like other European countries parental employment rates have increased with 74% of all UK mothers now working full or part time and parents are choosing to have children later in life with recent research indicating that 68% of first-time fathers and 54% of mothers are aged over thirty. The UK has, since 2000, recorded an average of 670,000 new babies born every year. This figure is expected to rise to more than 700,000. In comparison Germany has a much larger population but a yearly birth count of approx 760,000. With parental age increase comes greater spending power and with more demands on their time, convenience is key for working parents. That is why products that help to provide quality care for their young ones are seeing rapid growth and British households spend 38% of their combined net incomes on their children. There has been a slight decline in consumption in the UK since the announcement of Brexit last year. However, the baby products sector is an industry that is unlikely to be affected, in fact it is expected to increase steadily. With a 30% year on year growth, car seats have had the biggest boost in UK retail. Parents are also becoming increasingly confident about buying online. Despite the uncertain economic climate, the retail market in the UK continues to grow with Ecommerce being the biggest driver of retail sales growth in the UK.

What kind of demands do British parents have, when it comes to car seats?

British parents are like most other parents in that they want the very best for their little ones and while safety and security remain top priorities when it comes to purchase decisions, they are taking an increasing interest in the design and look of the product. British parents inform themselves through the likes of Which? (equivalent to Stiftung Warentest), through their specialist retailers and other online sources to find the right seat for their child. Parents are now, more than ever, aware of the risks of not using the right seat for their little one. Since the introduction of i-Size and the UK law on backless booster seats numerous organisations, governments and businesses are helping to educate and advise parents on these risks. British parents are happy to spend on their little ones and want the best quality. Even better if this is combined with a unique and appealing design. They are always on the look out for something different and new. Our products offer just that with complete peace of mind on safety.

What swandoo products do you plan to release in the UK in the next month?

Plans are firmly on track to have Albert i-Size available in stores in the UK by the end of this year. Swandoo has already sparked interest with some major and independent retailers in the UK and Bebelephant is hosting a showcase to present Albert i-Size to them next week. One of Albert’s features are the colour options, so we are excited to hear consumers feedback and hoping to introduce a wide range of colours during the course of the next year.

What kind of plans do swandoo has in the upcoming years, regarding to expand even further and launching new products?

Swandoo has recently opened its European Headquarters in Vienna, Austria. This is where our design team and product development team is based and we will continue to grow both these teams in the next few years. With the new office in Vienna we will be looking to expand into European markets. We have a lot of exciting products in the pipeline, which includes our i-Size smart seat “Albert Go” for children up to 85cm and we have developed “Jody i-Size”, a beautifully simple reboarder seat featuring 360° rotation with 4 recline positions for children up to 105cm. We have also developed an an exciting “Babytracker” app, which will be available to parents from Appstores (for Android and I-Phone) by the end of this year. There is more but I do not want to reveal too much. However I do invite everyone to visit our stand at the upcoming Kind + Jugend exhibition.



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Image: Swandoo