Brand Licensing Europe will launch an exclusive licensing club designed to help retailers harness the $251.7 billion brand licensing industry at this year’s event, Oct. 11-13, at London’s Olympia.
BLE is the largest licensing event in Europe, organized by UBM and sponsored by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association.
The show’s new Retail Licensing Club will offer retailers year-round seminars with insights on the latest licensing trends and forecasts, mini events with networking opportunities hosted by industry leaders, bespoke company visits from industry experts to brief members on current licensing trends and news and opportunities to join the BLE Advisory Board to help shape the future direction and content of the event.
Global retail sales of licensed merchandise increased 4.2 percent from 2014 to 2015, with the U.K. ranking second behind the U.S. and Canada, according to the second annual LIMA Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey 2016 report. The results also show that amid declining physical shelf space, online retail sales now account for 18.3 percent of the licensed retail sales market.
“Licensing presents a wealth of opportunities for retailers. For example, as consumer trends shift towards the omni-channel shopping experience, licensing allows many products to be developed quickly across a diverse range of categories,” says Anna Knight, brand director, BLE. “The LIMA research also highlights a move towards more direct-to-retail licensing deals, enabling retailers to access brand owners directly as opposed to agents or licensees. This has been the driver in creating a specialist licensing club exclusively for the retail industry. We hope that this unique scheme will build connections between retailers and licensors, and help them to take advantage of the opportunities licensing can bring.”
The club will launch with a champagne reception in the Retail Lounge at BLE on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 4 p.m.
Additionally, BLE has been running a Retail Mentoring Programme, designed to give buying and merchandising professionals a deeper understanding of the licensing industry, for the past six years. The six month programme has welcomed more than 50 delegates this year from companies like Marks & Spencer, Halfords and The Entertainer.
BLE is now in its 18th year and features more than 2,500 characters, images and brands available to license from more than 250 exhibitors. The show is divided into three zones–Character and Entertainment, Brands and Lifestyle and Art, Design and Image–to help retailers easily find the licenses they want. This year’s show will also feature a Product Showcase, a walk-through installation demonstrating the consumer potential and cross-category opportunities licensing presents, as well as a dedicated Retail Lounge and free educational sessions.
To register for BLE, visit BrandLicensing.eu.