Global Retail Sales of Licensed Goods and Services Hit $262.9 Billion in 2016

LIMA Study shows retail sales up 4.4 percent; entertainment and corporate trademarks lead the way.


New York, NY, May 22, 2017 – Global sales of licensed products and services continued their solid growth pace in 2016, rising 4.4 percent to $262.9 billion, according to the 2017 International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association’s (LIMA) Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey.

Entertainment/Character licensing remains the largest industry category, accounting for $118.3 billion, or 45 percent of the total global licensing market. Corporate/Brand Trademarks was the next biggest property type, generating $54.6 billion in retail receipts for 20.8 percent of total revenues, followed by Fashion, with $31.1 billion (11.8 percent of the total), and Sports at $25.3 billion (9.6 percent).

The survey was conducted for the third straight year for LIMA by Brandar Consulting, LLC.

“The 2017 Survey reinforces the positive momentum of licensed products worldwide and across all categories, especially the large and growing Entertainment/Character sector,” said LIMA President Charles Riotto. “This year’s results also speak to the impressive reach and strength of licensing initiatives in growth markets around the world, contributing to the continued vitality of the industry.”

Among product categories, Apparel led the way with 14.9 percent of total global licensed retail sales, followed by Toys at 13.3 percent of the total, and Fashion Accessories at 11.3 percent. The fastest growing categories were Infant & Pet Products, as more licensors seek to capitalize on strong industry growth present in both sectors worldwide. Fueled by increases in home ownership and new housing starts in developing countries as well as a stronger housing market in the U.S., sales of licensed Home Décor products grew by 8.2 percent during the current survey period. The Video Games/Software/Apps segment was again a solid performer, growing 8.1 percent. It is now the fifth largest segment, accounting for 6.9 percent of revenue.

Royalty revenue from sales of licensed merchandise and services rose 1.3 percent to $14.1 billion. This modest increase is the byproduct of a 3.5 percent decrease in the weighted average industry royalty rate, from 8.5 percent to 8.2 percent.

The U.S./Canada remains the largest market for licensed merchandise and services, with revenue accounting for 57.9 percent of the global total, up slightly from 57.7 percent last year. The Southeast Asia/PAC region was the fastest growing of all areas worldwide, with 6.8 percent year-on-year growth; it now accounts for 3.4 percent of global licensing revenue.

GDA Staff | News & Commentary

Lenise Willis, editor in chief; Anne-Marie Earl, managing editor; Alex Herring, senior editor; and Cammie Collier, art director; love reviewing new products for Gifts and Decorative Accessories. The team stays on top of the latest trends in bath and body, candles, gourmet items, stationery, home décor, fashion and more, and love chatting about their latest finds. Check in each week for more of their latest picks on GiftRap, and see more of the team on their new bi-weekly video series, Thoughts That Count.

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