In our most recent #interview with Phil Bosher, account development manager at the East Coast Nursery Group, we find out the history of the company, what products work best for what type of retailer and the latest on licences.
East Coast Nursery
When and where was East Coast established?
The East Coast Group was established in 1960 and originally manufactured plastic inflatables and raincoats. The nursery range was founded in 1975 when we diversified into making the first baby changing mats. The company remains on the original site in Norfolk, and is still owned and run by the same family.
What is it best known for?
I would say furniture, which has a reputation for being high quality and reasonably priced. Our product range is quite diverse, but it works well together so there is cohesion – our furniture looks great with our bedding; our highchairs are complemented by our highchair inserts and splash mats, and so on.
Where is the wood sourced? Where are the majority of the wood products manufactured?
The majority of our furniture and highchairs are manufactured in Vietnam, where we have an office which allows us to manage the quality control. All our timber is responsibly sourced from sustainable forests. Some is sourced locally, but most of it comes from New Zealand.
Which cot beds are the best-sellers?
The Country cot bed is one of our older designs, but is a consistently high seller. The Alaska has also proven really popular, I think people are making bolder choices in their nursery furniture, so the sleigh designs are doing well.
Which cots offer consumers the best value for money?
Our new Carolina cot is supplied with a mattress, so offers great value. It’s a space-saving size, so it won’t take up too much space in the parents’ room for the first six months; then when baby moves into their own room their immediate surroundings will feel familiar, which can make that transition less stressful for everyone. At £99.99 RRP, it’s around the price of a swinging crib or premium Moses basket, but will last longer.
What duration do you think the Combination Highchair can be used for by a single child?
Obviously it will depend on the child, but we suggest the Combination Highchair is suitable from around 6 months, to around 3 years in junior chair and table mode. That said, my friend’s 5 year old is happily having dolls’ tea parties at her little table!
For a retailer stocking the wood range what products can they suggest as add on purchases?
Our bedding has been designed to complement our furniture – Silvercloud’s Counting Sheep design looks great with white. For retailers stocking our wooden highchairs, we offer a great selection of highchair insert cushions to offer additional comfort and support for smaller babies. From our graphic Rest & Play prints, to licensed character designs there’s an insert to suit every style; some also have matching splash mats.
When did East Coast obtain the Tiny Tatty Teddy licence and what products does it manufacture using it?
September 2012. Our range consists of a Cot Bed, Dresser, Folding Highchair, 360° Swivel Rocker, two Changing Mat designs, 3 piece bedding bale, Cuddle Robe, Sleeping Bags, Highchair Insert, Splash Mat, Room Thermometer, Baby On Board Sign, Retractable Sunblind, Pop up Sunshades. The Bedding Bale and matching Changing Mat are selling very well. The 360° Swivel Rocker always goes down well at the Trade Shows as it’s a lovely looking product with a unique 360° swivel rocking base which allows parent to rock their baby side to side, or front to back depending on their preference to direction.
When did East Coast obtain the Eric Carle Hungry Caterpillar licence and what products does it manufacture using it?
We launched The Very Hungry Caterpillar range at Harrogate 2015, so this is a new licence for East Coast. The range consists of a 3 piece Bedding Set, Cuddle Robe, Blankets and Changing Mat. We have had a few weeks of sales now, and so far the best selling items are the Bedding Sets with co-ordinating Changing Mat.
Right now at Baby Brands Direct, retailers are invited to enter an exclusive competition to win this bedset worth £80! Just answer a few questions about Eric Carle and The Very Hungry Caterpillar and press submit! Quiz ends 5th July.
We have worked with Fisher Price since 2012. We have in that time refreshed the range with the new Signature Style, which is selling very well across Changing Mats, Highchair Inserts, Splash Mats, Sunblinds, Sunshades, a Temperature Change Bath Mat and a Baby on Board sign.
What is your favourite product from the East Coast product range and why?
I’d have to pick the Fontana range. It’s a great solid room set, which I think offers real value for money at £550 RRP, and I like the washed-wood finish.
Love to have a drink with……?
Where would your Dream holiday be?
Anywhere I don’t have to fly to!
Con Air or Gone in 60 Seconds