BLE 2019 Opens Applications for Retail Mentoring Programme

Brand Licensing Europe, which takes place Oct. 1-3 at ExCel London, is now accepting applications for this year’s Retail Mentoring Programme after receiving a record number of submissions from U.K. buyers from a cross-section of retail in 2018.

BLE’s Retail Mentoring Programme educates retailers about the benefits of licensing.

Topics include new customer acquisition, increased customer loyalty, the opportunity to stock wider and exclusive product ranges and enhanced margins and profitability.

The program helps participants make more informed decisions when negotiating licensing deals and discovering new brand partners.

Delivered via a series of seminars, workshops and one-to-one consultancy sessions, the £499 program is CPD-accredited and provided free of charge to qualifying retailers, who receive:

  • A spot at the Licensing Essentials Course and Spring Fling in May, organized by LIMA;
  • An invitation to judge the Licensing Awards, organized by Max Publishing;
  • A spot at the Retail Mentoring Programme’s closing conference;
  • Access to exclusive retail content at BLE, where retailers can meet more than 260 leading brands and owners and agents across entertainment, art, sports, corporate brands, gaming and heritage as well as
  • A full day with a licensor to help them better understand licensing from the brand owner side, as well as receiving tips on how to work effectively with some of the world’s best-known properties and agents. Previous hosts have included The Point.1888, NBCUniversal, Natural History Museum and Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products.

“With bottom lines getting squeezed and competition fiercer than ever, retailers are under increasing pressure to differentiate themselves by delivering products that consumers love, want and can’t buy anywhere else,” says Anna Knight, event director, BLE. “This is where brand licensing can help, by leveraging loyal fan bases for retailers to tap into. By enrolling in our Retail Mentoring Programme, retailers gain a better understanding of what brands are a good fit for them through a range of practical, hands-on events that are designed to immerse them into the world of licensing and really get under its skin. We know how time-poor buyers are, and this program has been designed to be as productive as possible and deliver maximum return on their time.”

Marks and Spencer assistant buyer Lauren Leyh described the 2018 program as “hugely beneficial”

“It opened my eyes to the vast licensing industry that exists beyond the apparel category,” says Leyh. “It was very insightful. The guest speakers were inspiring, and it was great to network with other retailers.”

“Taking part in the program was a great experience for me as I hadn't had much experience with licensing on a day-to-day basis in my role,” says Caroline Smith, girlswear designer, Morrisons. “It gave me a lot more experience and knowledge of this field. I was able to work with other delegates from different companies and roles and work as a team collectively to think up new concepts and ideas for licensed product. Having seminars with industry experts was really beneficial and probably one of my highlights.” Retailers can apply to take part in the program online at www.BrandLicensing.eu/Retail-Mentoring-Programme.

BLE welcomes applications from:

  • Buyers and designers with existing licensing programs
  • Buyers and designers engaged in licensing who seek further developments
  • Merchandising individuals and teams
  • Teams who would like to learn how to develop their licensing relationships
  • Teams looking for cross-category opportunities
  • Individuals new to retail who hope to build their careers and expertise within licensing

Last year, 54 buyers from 18 retailers completed the program and received full CPD accreditation, an increase of 29 and 20 percent, respectively. Participating retailers in 2018 included:

  • Asda George
  • Beija London
  • Character.com
  • Fat Face
  • Halfords
  • Hamleys
  • John Lewis
  • M&Co
  • Marks and Spencer
  • Matalan
  • Morrisons Nutmeg
  • Nichole de Carle
  • River Island
  • Sainsbury’s Tesco
  • The Entertainer
  • TruffleShuffle
  • Toymaster

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