Brand Licensing Europe opens applications for 2020’s Retail Mentoring Programme

Brand Licensing Europe has opened applications for this year’s Retail Mentoring Programme, marking the tenth year of the initiative that helps introduce UK retailers to the licensing scene.

To date, the programme has seen over 300 industry professionals take part since its launch in 2011, with a record-breaking 80 participants in 2019, an increase of 48 per cent over the 2018 edition.

“The Retailing Mentoring Programme offers an in-depth introduction into the world of licensing and unique access to some of the industry’s most important players,” said Anna Knight, VP, Global Licensing Group.

“The wealth of expertise and insight on offer to buyers, creatives and managers is immense. That we’ve seen so many people across a range of sectors participate in the programme, demonstrates its value and scope, with the 2020 edition set to be the best yet.”

An opportunity for retailers to learn about the benefits and fundamentals of licensing, BLE’s Retail Mentoring Programme is a Continuing Professional Development accredited course offering insight into the licensing industry to help retail teams gain a competitive edge when identifying new brand partners and negotiating licensing deals.

The Retail Mentoring Programme runs from the spring until Brand Licensing Europe and is delivered through workshops, seminars and one-to-one consultancy sessions. Valued at £499, the programme is offered free to qualifying retailers.

In addition to the course, participants will also receive a place at the Licensing Essentials Course and Spring Fling in May, organised in conjunction with Licensing International; an invitation to judge the Licensing Awards organised by Max Events; a place at the Retail Mentoring Programme’s closing Licensing for Retail conference, and access to exclusive retail content at BLE, including the retail trends lounge.

Those taking part will also receive a day with a licensor to help them 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 eOne, NBCUniversal, Natural History Museum, Penguin, The Point.1888, and Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products.

Emma Edwards, buyer for four to 14 girls wear at Asda George described enrolling on the 2019 edition of the Retail Mentoring Programme as “the best way I could’ve been introduced into the world of licensing.”

“There was so much opportunity on the course to learn from industry professionals and the seminars really did offer a wealth of key and concise information in such a short amount of time,” she said.

Retailers can apply to take part in the programme online. BLE welcomes applications from:


  • Buyers, designers, merchandisers and marketers with existing licensing programmes
  • Buyers, designers, merchandisers and marketers engaged in licensing but want further development
  • 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

35 retailers participated in the 2019 Retail Mentoring Programme including: Amazon, Asda George,, The Entertainer, Fat Face, Hamleys, John Lewis, Jo Jo Maman Bebe, M&Co, Moonpig, Morrisons Nutmeg, Next, Pep & Co, River Island, Sainsbury’s Argos, Sainsbury’s Tu, Tesco and Truffle Shuffle.

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...

Check Also

Sony Pictures partners with Moscow’s Dream Island Theme Park to open Hotel Transylvania attraction

Dream Island Theme Park, Europe’s largest indoor theme park located in Moscow, has officially opened …