Record numbers register for BLE Retail Mentoring Programme

  • New retailers include Next and Jo Jo Maman Bébé

  • Long standing partners Sainsbury’s, Tesco and The Entertainer return for 2019

  • Categories represented include fashion, games, gifts, film, books and video games

Brand Licensing Europe’s 2019 Retail Mentoring Programme is off to a flying start with 55 delegates already on board, surpassing the 54 who completed the CPD-accredited course last year. Applications remain open until 30 April.

Retailers taking part for the first time include Next, Jo Jo Maman Bébé, Cool Clobber and Pep & Co. Regular participants Sainsbury’s, Asda George, Tesco, John Lewis and The Entertainer have also inked their commitment for 2019.

Also confirmed are,  Hamleys, M&Co, Morrisons Nutmeg, River Island and Truffle Shuffle.

Retailers can apply to take part in the programme online at 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

“What a fantastic start to this year’s programme! To have UK High Street powerhouses like Next and Jo Jo Maman Bébé recognise the benefits of licensing and sign up for our Retail Mentoring Programme for the first time is a huge deal for us – I really hope it encourages other retailers to apply and reap the rewards,” said BLE event director Anna Knight.  

“We’ve invested a lot of time in getting the content of this programme exactly right for buyers, managers and creatives, as well as promoting the cross-category benefits of licensing, so it’s really encouraging to see a more diverse range of job titles on the delegate list this year. In addition to apparel and childrenswear, we have buyers from games, gifts, film, books and video games.”

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 agentsacross 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.

Brand Licensing Europe takes place 1-3 October 2019 at ExCeL London.



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