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BLE’s 2021 Retail Mentoring Programme breaks records

84 delegates and eight new retailers sign up to programme, with GameStop and Bershka among first ever European retailers.

With 84 delegates from 21 retailers – including eight first timers – confirmed to take part, 2021 is already a record-breaking year for Brand Licensing Europe’s Retail Mentoring Programme.

With Informa Markets offering a fully virtual, as well as hybrid option this year, it’s possible for European retailers to participate with GameStop and Bershka among the new retailers signed up to take part.

New retailers confirmed for 2021 are Bershka, GameStop, Maqio, Merlin Entertainments, RSPCA, The Hut Group, Vanilla Underground and ZSL.

Buyers from Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Selfridges, Halfords, Asda George, Ann Summers, River Island, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Toymaster, The Entertainer and Morrisons are among hundreds of alumni.

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

She commented: “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 The 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)

“It is amazing that we’ve broken records and over 80 retailers will be joining us on the Retail Mentoring Programme for 2021,” said Anna Knight, vp of licensing at Informa Markets. “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 by clicking here. Applications will close on Friday 28 May.

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