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BLE’s 2021 Retail Mentoring Program Reveals Delegates, Retailers

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GameStop and Bershka among new companies confirmed for the biggest Retail Mentoring Program to date.

Brand Licensing Europe’s Retail Mentoring Program has revealed 84 delegates from 21 retailers (including eight first timers) confirmed to take part, with applications closing May 28.

Organizers are hosting a fully virtual/physical hybrid format this year, making it possible for European retailers to participate.

The free-to-attend, CPD-accredited (Continued Professional Development) course now has new retailers confirmed for 2021 including Bershka, GameStop, Maqio, Merlin Entertainments, RSPCA, The Hut Group, Vanilla Underground and ZSL, with Fat Face, Matalan and Next returning to the program. Retailers from Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Selfridges, Halfords, Asda George, Ann Summers, River Island, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Toymaster, The Entertainer and Morrisons are among hundreds of alumni.

Arleene Rodríguez, licenses department coordinator and buyer, El Corte Inglés, took part in a trial run with European retailers in 2020.

“I would most definitely recommend the Retail Mentoring Program to other retailers because it’s a great experience,” says Rodríguez. “Not only do you get to learn very insightful and helpful things to better understand the industry and how it works, but if you already have some knowledge, you’ll get to review many concepts, see things in a different or new perspective, and of course get to meet a lot of people from the industry that also love the licensing world and can help you see the potential in your business.”

Retail Mentoring Program delegate benefits include:

  • May: One-hour introductory meeting (virtual);
  • June 17-18, over two half-days: Licensing Essentials Course delivered by Licensing International (virtual);
  • June: The option to virtually drop into Max Publishing’s Licensing Awards judging day and cast a vote;
  • August-October: Spend around 2.5 hours on a personalized brand owner experience day (live and/or virtual);
  • November 5: Half-day Licensing for Retail seminar (live/virtual); and
  • November 17-19: VIP admission to Brand Licensing Europe, where retailers can spend up to three days at Europe’s leading licensing event (live/virtual).

“It is amazing that we’ve broken records and over 80 retailers will be joining us on the Retail Mentoring Program for 2021,” says Anna Knight, vice president, licensing, Informa Markets. “It’s no secret that non-essential retail has struggled throughout the pandemic, and the number of entries we have received is reflective of the difference brand licensing can make at retail and the growing trend among consumers to purchase branded product. Applications for this year’s program will remain open until Friday May 28 – 2021 is going to be a pivotal year for retail, so I strongly recommend you don’t miss out.”

Retailers can apply for a free delegate place on the program here.

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