BLE Grows Retail Mentoring Program 2

More than 50 buying professionals, including Marks & Spencer, Halfords and The Entertainer, will take part in Brand Licensing Europe’s annual Retail Mentoring Program.

April 6, 2018

BLE Grows Retail Mentoring Program 2

Marks & Spencer, The Entertainer and more to participate in BLE’s Retail Mentoring Program.


Company delegates for the six-month program have almost doubled over the past year for the one-of-a-kind U.K. program.

Run as part of BLE, the program is designed to give buying and merchandising professionals a deeper understanding of the licensing industry.

The program already has confirmed delegates from retailers Sainsbury’s, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Claire’s Accessories, Matalan and more.

Organized by UBM and sponsored by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association, BLE will be held Oct. 11-13 at London’s Olympia in the U.K.

“At M&S we are understanding more and more the importance of all aspects of licensing and think it is vital for each of our buyers, merchandisers and designers within licensing roles to have a thorough understanding of the ins and outs of the industry,” says Pippa Smith, licensed

character coordinator, Marks & Spencer. “It is imperative that our colleagues are equipped with the tools to understand licensing and that we move forward with one key strategy. The Retail Mentoring Program gives us the introduction to licensing needed for us to build further skills.”

The program will allow delegates to attend workshops, seminars and the LIMA Licensing Essentials Course and Spring Fling event, as well as shadowing licensors in their workplace. The program will culminate in a visit to BLE where the theories learned will be put to practice. Delegates will also have the opportunity to formally judge products for the Licensing Industry Awards.

“Since its launch in 2010, the program has received a phenomenal response from retailers and we are delighted with the record delegate numbers for this year,” says Anna Knight, brand director, BLE. “We have actively expanded the categories for the 2016 program and now have delegates on board who are looking for opportunities in homeware, travel, footwear, books, beauty and toys. We have also seen growth in the number of retail designers and merchandisers joining the program. We would urge any retailers who are looking to learn more about licensing to join the program before it officially launches at the end of the month.”

Now in its 18th year, BLE 2016 will feature more than 300 exhibitors showcasing more than 2,500 brands, characters and images. A free educational program runs alongside the show featuring advice and sector-specific sessions, workshops and panel discussions along with keynotes from industry trailblazers.

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