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WORLD OF LICENSING

Retail Sales of Licensed Wearables Up in Every Territory in 2015

By Glenn S. Demby, Esq.

Worldwide retail sales of apparel/accessories/footwear tied to licensed properties were up a robust 3.9% at just below $66.1 billion in 2015. Wearables is a bellwether of overall licensing business due not only to its size, but because it provides an outlet for so many of the industry’s most important property types including fashion, entertainment/character, sports, and celebrity.

Retail Sales of Licensed Apparel/Accessories/Footwear Merchandise, Worldwide, by Territory, 2014–2015
Note: Numbers may not add up exactly due to rounding.
(Figures in Millions)
Territory Retail Sales, 2015 Retail Sales, 2014 % Change, 2014-2015 Share of Market, 2015
U.S./Canada $40,211 $38,536 4.3% 60.6%
Europe $13,780 $13,391 2.9% 20.9%
Asia $8,641 $8,332 3.7% 13.1%
Australia/New Zealand $1,076 $1,058 1.7% 1.6%
Latin America $1,805 $1,711 5.5% 2.7%
Middle East/Africa $412 $397 3.8% 0.6%
Other $140 $130 7.8% 0.2%
Total $66,064 $63,555 3.9% 100.0%

Apparel/accessories/footwear is also the largest product category in both the U.S./Canada and the rest of the world, accounting for, respectively, 38.9% and 43.2% of all sales of licensed goods within those markets. But while relative domestic shares are roughly equivalent, more than 60% of worldwide sales of apparel/accessories/footwear based on licensed properties come from the U.S./Canada. In 2015, the category grew 4.3% in U.S./Canada to $40.2 billion.

In fact, sales of licensed wearables were up in all territories for the year. Europe, home of the world’s second biggest market at 20.9%, followed the sluggish 0.1% growth of 2014 with a 2015 increase of 2.9%. Asia, the number three market at 13.1%, followed a similar trajectory going from 0.5% to 3.7% growth. Latin America posted the highest growth rate for the segment at 5.5% but still accounts for less than 3% of world consumption of licensed wearables.

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