A record number of retailers attended Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) 2023, which took place at ExCeL in London last week from October 4 to October 6.
A total of 9,649 licensing professionals attended the event, an increase of 19% over 2022, including 1,166 retailers from 57 countries: the highest in the show’s history and a rise of 31% on last year.
Head of retail Laura Freedman-Dagg said: “This year’s retail presence has been incredible, with a really strong attendance from fashion and toy retailers. We’ve also seen an increase in gift and novelty retailers as well as value retailers like Poundland, Matalan, Pepco and Primark. It’s brilliant seeing the retail strategy we introduced in 2021 really paying off for the benefit of the entire industry.”
There were also buyers from Uniqlo, Zara, Amazon, Benetton, The Entertainer, ASOS, C&A, H&M, Calzedonia, Carrefour, FatFace, Galeries Lafayette, Harrods, Aldi, Decathlon, Diechmann, Next, El Corte Ingles, Forbidden Planet, Frasers Group, Accessorize, Marks & Spencer, Card Factory, Hamley’s, Claire’s Accessories, HMV, Iceland, John Lewis & Partners, Legends, Lidl, Lipsy, Asda, Selfridges and many more.
Plus, licensing professionals attended from 100 countries, with a 28% increase in FIGS (France, Italy, Germany and Spain) territories; the highest on record.
“This year’s retail presence has been incredible, with a really strong attendance from fashion and toy retailers. We’ve also seen an increase in gift and novelty retailers as well as value retailers like Poundland, Matalan, Pepco and Primark. It’s brilliant seeing the retail strategy we introduced in 2021 really paying off for the benefit of the entire industry.”Head of retail Laura Freedman-Dagg
Attendees viewed the wares of 229 exhibiting companies, a 12% year-on-year increase, including 72 new exhibiting companies – also the highest on record.
More than 5,100 meetings were pre-arranged in the show’s Online Meetings Platform (a 17% increase on 2022) and thousands more took place onsite.
In 2024, and for the first time ever, BLE and Licensing Expo (Vegas) will share a theme: Brands in Play. Anna Clarke, SVP licensing of show organiser Informa Markets explained: “To celebrate the concept of play, we are dedicating 2024 to Brands in Play, a theme that will run as an undercurrent across BLE and Licensing Expo to spotlight the incredible innovations in play, the power it holds in every stage of life, and the creativity it allows when building brands.
“Immersive entertainment, storytelling and fan engagement are changing, and the concept of play is changing with it. Today, brands are creating multi-generational, omnichannel play patterns that permeate video games, tabletop, board and card games, location-based entertainment, immersive theatre, sports and esports, toys and kidult culture. Brands are also playing in new spaces, building ground-breaking new extensions and bringing the brand licensing business to life in increasingly creative ways.”
BLE 2024 will take place from September 22 to September 24 at ExCeL in London.
Brand Licensing Europe