BLE opens applications for this year’s Retail Mentoring Programme

Brand Licensing Europe has opened applications for this year’s Retail Mentoring Programme following a record up take 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 chance to stock wider and exclusive product ranges and enhanced margins.

Delivered through a series of seminars, workshops and one to one consultancy sessions, the £499 programme is CPD accredited and delivered free of charge to qualifying retailers who receive a host of benefits.

A place at the Licensing Essentials Course and Spring Fling in May is part of that package, as is an invitation to judge the Licensing Awards, a place at the Retail Mentoring Programme’s closing conference, access to exclusive retail content at BLE and a full day with a licensor to help them to understand licensing from the brand owner side.

BLE event director, Anna Knight, said: “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.

“By enrolling in our Retail Mentoring Programme, retailers gain better understanding of what brands are a good fit for them through a range of practical, hand-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.”

Last year, 54 buyers from 18 retailers completed the programme, receiving full CPD accreditation, an increase of 29 and 20 per cent with participants including Asda George, Beija London,, Fat Face, Halfords, Hamleys and John Lewis.

Claire McAree, buyer, kids footwear at George@Asda, said: “My highlights were the networking opportunities. I found the events invaluable for getting insight into new licences gathering buzz due to conversations involving numerous licencees/licensors.

“It was also great to encourage networking just within George and got us talking about licences in a much bigger strategic way. It really helped create cohesive ranges around key licences and story guides, as well as helping us create traction around new licences with managers and speed up processes so we could react quicker to the market.”

Retailers can apply to take part in the programme online at

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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