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BLE Stats Show Record Numbers

BLE Stats Show Record Numbers

Record numbers of retailers and visitors from France, Germany, Italy and Spain (FIGS) attended Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) 2023, which took place at ExCeL, London last week (4-6 October). 

9,649 licensing professionals attended this year’s event, an increase of 19% over 2022. Pure visitor numbers increased by 28%. In fact, last year’s total attendance figure was surpassed by 1pm on the show’s second day. 1,166 retailers from 57 countries were in attendance, the highest in the show’s history and an increase of 31% on last year.

Further highlights from this year include:

  • Buyers from Uniqlo, Zara, Amazon, Benetton, The Entertainer, ASOS, C&A, H&M, Calzedonia, Carrefour, Fat Face, Galeries Lafayette, Harrods, Aldi, Decathlon, Diechmann, Next, El Corte Ingles, Forbidden Planet, Frasers Group, Primark, Poundland, Accessorize, Marks & Spencer, Matalan, Card Factory, Hamley’s, Claire’s Accessories, HMV, Iceland, John Lewis & Partners, Legends, Lidl, Lipsy, Asda, Selfridges and many more. 

“This year’s retail presence has been incredible, with 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 to the benefit of the entire industry,” said head of retail Laura Freedman-Dagg. 

Licensing professionals attended from 100 different countries, with a 28% increase in FIGS (France, Italy, Germany and Spain) territories, the highest on record. 229 exhibiting companies, a 12% YOY increase, including 72 new exhibiting companies, also the highest on record. Over 5,100 meetings were pre-arranged in the show’s Online Meetings Platform (a 17% increase on 2022) and many thousands more took place onsite. 

Brands in Play theme announced for BLE and Licensing Expo 2024

In 2024, and for the first time ever, BLE and Licensing Expo (Vegas) will share a theme: Brands in Play. 

“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,” said Anna Clarke, SVP licensing, Informa Markets. 

“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.”

About The Author

Rebecca Ash

Rebecca is the Editorial Director at Total Licensing Ltd. She can be reached at

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