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Worldwide

U.S./Canadian Brands Contribute $111 Billion to Worldwide Licensed Sales

Contact the Editor at karina@plainlanguagemedia.com.

Worldwide licensed retail sales reached $171 billion in 2017; of that, $111 billion (or 65%) can be attributed to brands originating from the U.S./Canada, according to TLL’s Annual Licensing Business Survey.

Respondents to the 2018 Survey overwhelmingly cited American brands when asked which region’s brands increased the most in popularity as measured in licensed retail sales. Entertainment/character was a leading property type, propelling overall 2.8% growth in retail sales of U.S./Canada-based brands.

And it wasn’t just established brands that drove growth—per one licensee, the U.S./Canada territory showed “significant leadership in new property representation at retail” worldwide in 2017.

For European brands, the greatest driver behind 1.9% growth was the Western Europe region. The greater territory counts almost 16% global share by geographic source of property. The U.K., Spain, and France in particular saw higher sales from homegrown properties internally. Only some of these brands also made an impact internationally, mostly in the Americas and Asia. The biggest drivers of growth among property types were fashion, entertainment/character, and sports brands.

Asian countries leading 1.9% sales growth (11% global share) were China and South Korea. While one licensor noted that Japanese-based brands declined in licensed sales in 2017, others noted that anime and esports brands are making a big impact overall. Growth was largely generated within borders, as sales of homegrown properties grew stronger.

Some respondents noted that Latin American brands recorded a notable jump in popularity, both domestically and internationally.


Retail Sales of Licensed Merchandise, by Geographic Source of Property, Worldwide, 2016-2017
Note: Numbers may not add up exactly due to rounding.
(Figures in Millions)
Geographic Source of Property Retail Sales, 2017 Retail Sales, 2016 Change, 2016-2017 Share of Market, 2017
U.S./Canada $111,318 $108,286 2.8% 64.9%
Europe
(Western & CEE)
$26,513 $26,018 1.9% 15.5%
Asia $18,685 $18,336 1.9% 10.9%
Other $14,962 $14,855 0.7% 8.7%
Total $171,478 $167,496 2.4% 100.0%

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