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Retail

Mass Channels Lead Corporate TM/Brand-based Licensed Sales

By: Karina Masolova, karina@plainlanguagemedia.com

As noted in our lead story, the reason why royalties for trademarks/brands are historically lower is, in part, a consequence of many licensed goods being sold through the mass retailer channels. So while the low overhead in these stores brings prices (and royalties) down, the difference in profits compared to other channels is made up with a greater volume of sales.

For more historical data, visit the Licensing Data Bank royalty and retail sales profile pages for coporate trademark/brand-based licensed consumer products in the U.S./Canada.

Discounters commanded a 36.0% share of all trademark/brand-based licensed goods sold in 2016, followed by supermarkets/grocery stores (28.1%) and dealers, wholesalers, and distributors (12.1%).

But over the last five years, that picture has been slowly shifting. Discounters contracted by 0.8% and dealers, wholesalers, and distributors by 3.2%. Despite the channel’s decline in share however, real dollar sales grew due to the growth of trademark/brand licensing overall.

Meanwhile, supermarkets/grocery stores grew by 6.8% in share, mostly thanks to the growth in the food/beverages-based licensing subcategory. Unsurprisingly, ecommerce saw the biggest growth, expanding 79.5% over a five-year period. Equally shocking, the TV shopping/mail order channel was down 78.9% over the same period.

The only channels that saw a real dollar decline in retail sales from 2011 to 2016 were TV shopping/mail order (shrinking $365 million), department stores (-$14 million), and drug, variety and convenience stores (-$10 million). In the grand scheme of things, that’s a ridiculously tiny fraction of all retail sales. No channel saw a decline in sales in 2016, compared to the previous year.


Representative Retail Stores By Distribution Channel

Mass/Discount/Club/Big Box: BJ’s, Costco, Kmart, Sam’s, Target, Toys ‘R’ Us, Walmart

Specialty Stores: Ace Hardware, Barnes & Noble, Bass Pro, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Cabela’s, Cracker Barrel, Dick’s, Forever 21, GameStop, H&M, Home Depot, Limited, Lowe’s, Michaels, Modell’s, museum stores, PetSmart, Sherwin-Williams, Sports Authority, Staples, Zara

Department Stores & Mid-tier: Bloomingdale’s, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Neiman-Marcus, Sears

Grocery and Drug: Ahold, Aldi, CVS Caremark, Giant Eagle, Kroger, Meijer, Publix, RiteAid, Safeway, ShopRite, Walgreen

Dollar/Value/Off-Price: Amazing Savings, Big Lots, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Ross Stores, Save Mart, Supervalu, TJ Maxx

Online/E-commerce: Amazon, Café Press, Gilt, Zappos, Zazzle

Variety and Convenience: 7-Eleven, Circle-K

TV Shopping: HSN, QVC, ShopHQ

Mail Order: Oriental Trading, Signals

Other: Kiosks, on-site, vending, and more

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