Gifts Today magazine

Seven new retailers for BLE retail programme

Some 74 delegates and seven retailers join Brand Licensing Europe 2018’s retail mentoring programme

With 74 delegates, including 22 buyers from Tesco, and 17 retailers confirmed to take part, Brand Licensing Europe’s 2018 Retail Mentoring Programme has set a new record.

Last year, the programme attracted 47 delegates and retailers. New retailers confirmed for 2018 are River Island, Asda, Hamleys, Ann Summers, Halfords, Absolute Cult and Beija London. The following are all returning:

• John Lewis
• M&Co
• Matalan
• Morrisons
• Sainsbury’s
• Tesco
• The Entertainer
• Toymaster

'The Retail Mentoring Programme gave us a great platform to understand the licensing world as well as the opportunity to network and connect with licensors, suppliers and partners', says Yogi Parmar, operations director, Toymaster.

'Importantly, from this, we made relationships along with getting some great contacts to help promote our brand, Toymaster. A big thank you to everyone who helped, encouraged and supported us throughout the programme.'

Pat Wood, managing director,, adds: 'Licensing has always been a hard task to train people on and a hard task to delegate, meaning it’s always been performed by the senior management team, who aren’t able to devote the correct level of attention to it. With the introduction of the Retail Mentoring Programme, we now have three team members who are better informed, trained and qualified in licensing than we as a senior team ever have been. We’re already seeing a more empowered approach to licensing and one of our delegates, James, has already signed two new licenses that wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for his participation in the programme.'

BLE’s Retail Mentoring Programme provides retailers with the tools they need to get the most out of their licensing programmes. Delivered through seminars, workshops, one-to-one consultancy sessions and live events, the CPD accredited course is designed to enhance the buyer’s career as well as their department’s bottom line. Successful applicants will receive the following:

A place at the Licensing Essentials Course on 3 May, organised by LIMA
The chance to judge the product categories at the Licensing Awards, organised by Max Publishing
A place at the programme’s closing conference
Access to the exclusive Retail Lounge at BLE, which takes place from 9-11 October at Olympia London

Mentees will also benefit from 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. New licensor hosts for this year include Natural History Museum and The Point 1888, who represents Battersea Cats & Dogs Home, TATE and Leon.

The programme is CPD accredited, jam-packed full of content and valued at £499 per delegate, but we are so passionate about opening retailers’ eyes to the potential of licensing, that we offer these places for free.”

The 20th annual event will take place in London from 9-11 October 2018.

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