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Fashion

Specialty, Mid-Tier & Ecommerce Drive 2017 Licensed U.S./Canada Fashion Sales

Contact the Editor at karina@plainlanguagemedia.com.

Retail sales of licensed merchandise based on fashion properties in the U.S./Canada grew 1.5% to reach $21,776 million in 2017, per TLL’s Annual Licensing Business Survey.

On the distribution side, the fastest-growing channel in 2017 for the U.S./Canada was ecommerce at 4.3% growth. Unlike most of the other five major property types TLL tracks, ecommerce accounts for a smaller share of total fashion sales at just 8.3% share of all licensed retail sales.

The largest category, discounters and value, inched ahead with 1.1% growth to reach just over $8.5 billion in retail sales for 2017. The second- and third-largest channels, specialty stores at 25.9% and department and mid-tier retailers at 23.9%, likewise observed relatively stunted 1.6% and 1.5% growth compared to 2016, respectively.

While most licensed channel trends mirror that of the broader fashion business, mail order is an exception. With the rise of subscription-type services, fashion apparel and higher-end HBA consumer goods have not only observed an uptick in online-based sales but also the relatively retro catalog, mail order, and TV shopping channels. This trend is expected to subvert in the coming years.


Retail Sales of Licensed Fashion Merchandise, by Distribution Channel, U.S./Canada, 2016–2017
Note: Numbers may not add up exactly due to rounding.
(Figures in millions)
Distribution ChannelRetail Sales, 2016Retail Sales, 2017Change, 2016-2017Share of Sales, 2017
Discounters and Value$8,408 $8,501 1.1%39.0%
Specialty Stores$5,555 $5,644 1.6%25.9%
Department and Mid-tier$5,126 $5,203 1.5%23.9%
E-Commerce$1,737 $1,812 4.3%8.3%
Mail Order$279 $272 -2.5%1.2%
TV Shopping$236 $234 -1.0%1.1%
Other$107 $110 2.5%0.5%
Total$21,449 $21,776 1.5%100.0%

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