BLEpicBLE’s Retail Mentoring Program welcomes a new host of retailers from a diverse range of categories. By Bianca Herron

Online retailer Character.com and specialist toy buying group Toymaster are a apart of the new host of retailers that joined Brand Licensing Europe’s (BLE) Retail Mentoring Program.

BLE’s program is one-of-a-kind in the United Kingdom. Organized by UBM and sponsored by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA), the program is designed to give buying and merchandising professionals a deeper understanding of the licensing industry.

The mentees of this year’s course represent numerous retail categories and departments, including buyers, marketers and designers from apparel, gift, toys and leisure. Other notable program participants include fashion and apparel retailers M&Co; Morrisons, one of the largest supermarket chains in the UK; and the UK’s largest cinema chain ODEON and UCI Cinemas Group.

In addition, for the first time, all retailers who complete the course will receive Continuing Professional Development Certification Service (CPD) accreditation, which will help enhance each participant’s individual career paths.

“It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to enhance these young professional’s careers and skill sets within licensing,” BLE Brand Director, Anna Knight, said in a statement. "They are after all the future of this industry.”

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