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Discounters, Grocery Drive Corp/TM Growth in 2018

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The largest distibution channels as ranked by retail sales for corporate trademark/brand-based goods also led in sheer dollar growth in 2018, propelling U.S. & Canada sales to almost $29.8 billion.

Sales through discounters grew 1.5%, or $157 million, to reach $10.6 billion in licensed corporate trademark/brand-based retail sales. Despite the nominal gain in sales, the channel actually lost 0.2 percentage points in total share of sales for the category.

In the same vein, supermarkets/grocery sales jumped 2.3% ($139 million) to reach $8.3 billion but slid 0.1 percentage point in share overall. Most of the growth in this channel can be attributed to food/beverage- and restaurant-based brands (licensed into food and beverages), but many supermarkets and grocery outlets are rapidly expanding their selections to include licensed product categories such as electronics, hardware, and appliances. Also small, these licensed goods are a rapidly-growing sub-category of sales that are expected to continue to grow.

The fastest-growing, category-dominating categories in 2018 were ecommerce (up 0.2 percentage points in total share) and department stores (up 0.1 percentage points.)

Ecommerce sales jumped by 4.8% ($101 million) to reach $2.2 billion. While the total category share for corporate trademarks/brands has traditionally been lower compared to other property types, TLL expects the distribution channel to have an above-average share of sales over the next five years.

Unexpectedly, corporate trademark/brand-based goods saw a 5.4% leap in sales through the department store channel, translating to $30 million. Although department stores saw a dip in overall marker sales over the last three years, in 2018 licensed sales began to stabilize and grow.

Dealers, wholesalers, and distributors observed a 2.8% increase ($99 million) with total sales leveling out at $3.6 billion.

Specialty stores generated a 2.2% spurt in growth, or $57 million in dollar increase, to reach $2.7 billion in licensed retail sales.

Drug, variety and convenience channels observed a relatively flat year of growth, only spurring a 2.0% increase in sales ($30 million) for a total of $1.5 billion.

TV shopping and mail order was up 1.5% (or just $2 million) to remain at just under $120 million in licensed retail sales.

Retail Sales of Licensed Trademark/Brand Merchandise, by Distribution Channel, U.S. & Canada, 2017–2018
Note: Numbers may not add up exactly due to rounding.
(Figures in Millions)
Distribution Channel Retail Sales, 2018 Retail Sales, 2017 Change, 2017–2018 Share, 2018
Discounters $10,641 $10,484 1.5% 35.8%
Supermarkets/Grocery Stores $8,298 $8,159 1.7% 27.9%
Dealers, Wholesalers, Distributors $3,633 $3,534 2.8% 12.2%
Specialty Stores $2,663 $2,606 2.2% 8.9%
Drug, Variety and Convenience $1,518 $1,488 2.0% 5.1%
E-commerce $2,207 $2,106 4.8% 7.4%
Department Stores $576 $546 5.4% 1.9%
TV Shopping/Mail Order $117 $115 1.5% 0.4%
Other $111 $116 -3.9% 0.4%
Total $29,764 $29,155 2.1% 100.0%


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