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Second Licensing for Retail Day attracts record retail numbers

The second Licensing for Retail Day, organised by Brand Licensing Europe and License Global in partnership with trade association Licensing International, attracted record retail numbers yesterday (7 March).

Held at Convene London, more than 240 licensing professionals were in attendance, including brand owners, licensees and a record 114 retailers from The Entertainer, Boots, Lidl, McDonald’s, Tesco, My 1st Years, HMV, Iceland and The Works among others.

The one day conference, which launched last year to huge success, puts retailers front and centre, providing actionable advice to navigate the world of brand licensing, from engaging directly with major brands to identifying best in class suppliers.

This year’s programme focused on fandom with content designed to help retailers maximise the power of fandom and create products that fans want.

“Branded products tap into customer’s emotions and as licensed products sold $340.8bn in revenue sales in 2022, the power of that personal connection should not be understated,” said BLE’s head of retail Laura Freedman-Dagg. “Consumer products bring brands to life, and we hope we’ve shown retailers today how they also increase footfall, drive customer loyalty and acquisition, solidify a point of difference to their competitors and positively impact their bottom line. It’s been a day full of inspiration, connection and real added value for retailers, and also for those brands and licensees who have spent the day networking with 114 fully engaged buyers.”

The day’s keynote celebrated Hasbro’s centenary with Caroline Spooner and Andy Gosling presenting ‘100 Years of Inspiring Families through the Wonder of Play’.

Either side of the keynote, speakers from Moonpig, Jazwares, SEGA, Fabacus, Kids Industries, Start Licensing, Moonbug Entertainment, Watermelon Creative, Acamar Films, Crayola, The Point.1888, FUNdamentally Children, Hunter Price and Raw Group took to the stage to discuss everything from consumer trends to fandom in families and digital passports.

There were brand showcases from Jazwares and Squishmallows, Acamar and Bing, SEGA and Sonic the Hedgehog, and The Point.1888 and Historic Royal Palaces, plus practical networking with peers, the BLE and Licensing International teams, brand owners, licensees, agents, consultants, media and industry suppliers.

For the first time this year, roundtables were moderated by licensing experts including Ben Roberts from License Global, Rory Partis from Circana, Katie Rollings from Acamar, Amanda Gummer from FUNdamentally Children, Mark Kingston from Libertas Brands, Will Stewart from The Point.1888, Francesca Lisle from Lisle Licensing, Helena Mansell-Stopher from Products of Change and Sarah Swindell from Watermelon Creative.

Thanks to Start Licensing, copies of Aardman books were available for delegates to take home in return for a voluntary donation to World Book Day (also 7 March), which changes lives through a love of books and reading and is a key moment in the licensing calendar.

Cassie Chadderton, ceo at World Book Day, commented: “World Book Day, our charity’s annual celebration of reading for pleasure, offers huge opportunity for both retailers and licensees to get involved, have fun and raise funds to support our mission to help all children love reading. As a tentpole commercial moment across both the dressing up and publishing categories, World Book Day and its well-loved brand are an exciting prospect for collaboration.”

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