BRAND LICENSING EUROPE OPENS APPLICATIONS FOR 2019 RETAIL MENTORING PROGRAMME FOLLOWING RECORD TAKE UP IN 2018

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Brand Licensing Europe, which takes place 1-3 October 2019 at ExCeL London, has opened applications for this year’s Retail Mentoring Programme, following a record take up by UK buyers from a cross section of retail in 2018.

BLE’s Retail Mentoring Programme educates retailers about the benefits of licensing – which include new customer acquisition, increased customer loyalty, the opportunity to stock wider and exclusive product ranges, and enhanced margins and profitability - and helps them make more informed decisions when negotiating licensing deals and discovering new brand partners.

Delivered through a series of seminars, workshops and 1-2-1 consultancy sessions, the £499 programme is CPD-accredited and delivered free of charge to qualifying retailers, who receive:

  • A place at the Licensing Essentials Course and Spring Fling in May, organised by LIMA
  • An invitation to judge the Licensing Awards, organised by Max Publishing
  • A place at the Retail Mentoring Programme’s closing conference
  • Access to exclusive retail content at BLE, where they can meet over 260 leading brand owners and agents across entertainment, art, sports, corporate brands, gaming, heritage and more
  • A full day with a licensor to help them to 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, NBC Universal, Natural History Museum and Nickelodeon Viacom 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 – this is where brand licensing can help, by leveraging loyal fan bases for retailers to tap into,” commented BLE event director Anna Knight.

“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 programme 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 programme as ‘hugely beneficial’, saying, “It opened my eyes to the vast licensing industry that exists beyond the apparel category. It was very insightful; the guest speakers were inspiring, and it was great to network with other retailers.”

Morrisons girlswear designer Caroline Smith added: “Taking part in the programme was a great experience for me as I hadn't had much experience with licensing on a day to day basis in my role. It gave me a lot more experience and knowledge of this field. I was able 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 programme online at https://www.brandlicensing.eu/retail-mentoring-programme and BLE welcomes applications from:

  • Buyers and designers with existing licensing programmes
  • Buyers and designers engaged in licensing but want 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 and hoping to develop their career and expertise within licensing

Last year, 54 buyers from 18 retailers completed the programme, receiving full CPD accreditation, an increase of 29 and 20 per cent, respectively. Participating retailers were:

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