BLE 2018's Retail Mentoring Programme 'set to break records'

74 delegates including 22 buyers from Tesco and 17 retailers are now confirmed to take part in the 2018 programme, alongside a glut of new retailers to join the fold.
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BLE 2018

Brand Licensing Europe’s 2018 Retail Mentoring Programme is already set to break records with one week of applications still to go.

74 delegates including 22 buyers from Tesco and 17 retailers are now confirmed to take part in the 2018 programme, alongside a glut of new retailers to join the fold.

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.

Meanwhile, Character.com, John Lewis, M&Co, Matalan, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, The Entertainer, Truffle Shuffle and Toymaster each return.

“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,” said Yogi Parmar, operations director at Toymaster.

“Importantly, from this, we made relationships along and 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 at Truffle Shuffle, added: “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 are 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 receive a place at the Licensing Essentials Course on May 3, the chance to judge the product categories at the Licensing Awards, a place at the programme’s closing conference and access to the Retail Lounge at BLE.

Mentees will also benefit from a full day with a licensor to help them to understand licensing from the brand owner side. New licensor hosts this year include Natural History Museum and The Point 1888, who represent Battersea Cats & Dogs Home, TATE and Leon.

“There is no limit on the number of delegates who can take part in the programme,” said BLE brand manager, Jenny Purves.

“We really are encouraging as many buyers and retailers as possible to apply for a place. 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 place for free.”

Applications remain open until Friday, April 13.

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