BLE’s Retail Mentoring Programme sees record-breaking numbers ahead of application closure this week

A record breaking 84 delegates from 21 retailers have already signed up to this year’s Brand Licensing Europe’s Retail Mentoring Programme, with applications still being accepted until the closing bell on Friday, May 28th.

The influx of participants in this year’s programme include eight new comers to the scene, with international retailers GameStop and Bershka among the course’s first ever European brands. The increased uptake from overseas retailers has been credited with the offering of a fully virtual as well as hybrid option for this year’s programme.

New retailers to have signed up for the free-to-attend, CPD-accredited course include not only GameStop and Bershka, by Maqio, Merlin Entertainments, RSPCA, The Hut Group, Vanilla Underground, and ZSL. The programme boasts a vast number of high calibre alumni, including the likes of Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Halfords, Ann Summers, Toymaster, and The Entertainer.

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

She said: “I would most definitely recommend the Retail Mentoring Programme to other retailers because it’s a great experience. 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 Programme delegate benefits include:

  • May: One-hour introductory meeting (virtual)
  • 17 – 18 June, 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 personalised brand owner experience day (live and/or virtual)
  • 5 November: Half-day Licensing for Retail seminar (live/virtual)
  • 17-19 November: VIP admission to Brand Licensing Europe, where retailers can spend up to three days at Europe’s leading licensing event (live/virtual)

Anna Knight, VP of licensing, Informa Markets, said: “It is amazing that we’ve broken records and over 80 retailers will be joining us on the Retail Mentoring Programme for 2021. 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 programme will remain open until Friday 28 May – 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 programme here. Applications will remain open until Friday 28 May.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz 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 Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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