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What’s the Deal? Apparel, Home & Accessories Lead TLL’s Deal Sheet Count

By: Karina Masolova. Contact the Editor at karina@plainlanguagemedia.com.

TLL broke down the numbers behind the Deal Sheet to discover the driving trends behind licensing deals this year, as of August 2018.

The most popular product category for deals struck this year was apparel, making up 18.3% of the total share with 428 deals. The home & home furnishings category was second at 15.2% share, followed by accessories at 14.2% share. Surprisingly, toys and games was the fourth-largest category at 13.5% share.

For the purposes of this analysis, each product announcement was broken out and considered as a “separate” deal for a total of 2,394 listings—one brand and one product category. Many deals include more than one product category, such as “t-shirts, socks, and key chains.” These examples would have been broken out and sorted under “apparel, accessories, and gifts & novelties,” respectively.

Eighteen deals were not included here because of their experiential nature, including branded restaurants, character appearances, and in-flight travel packs. This is because TLL does not track experiential licensing arrangements in the same way as we do consumer goods, making a numerical comparison unrepresentative. Experiential annoucements are included in the Deal Sheet, typically, when the broader agreement also includes consumer goods.


Within 438 apparel deals, most announcements were for the complete set—tops and bottoms—or not otherwise distinguished. Within the broader apparel category, t-shirts made up 11.6% of deals while activewear and swimwear had 3.9% share each.

Home and home furniture includes 364 listings spanning home goods and décor (54.7%; incl. gardening), kitchen (20.1%), bedding (7.1%), and furniture (5.5%). The category is evenly split between soft goods (cushions, pillows, rugs) and hard goods (ceramics, tableware, wall clocks).

Accessories counts 340 items, including hosiery (17.9%), bags (17.4%), headwear (12.6%), underwear (5.3%), eyewear (4.7%), and jewelry (3.2%). Just over 38% of listings in this category were for simply “accessories.”

With 322 entries, toys & games is the fourth-largest category. The most popular categories are toys (35.7%), figures (22.7%), board/card games (16.8%), puzzles (10.6%), and plush (8.7%). Action figures and activity toys have 2.8% share each.

Gifts & novelties is one of the most diverse categories, counting 195 entries. Most products are either novelties (33.3%) or gifts (32.8%), followed by costumes (12.8%) and other holiday-specific items (8.2%). We included personalized (10.3%) and promotional (2.6%) deals here.

Office/school supplies & stationery included arts & crafts (22.1%), stationery (21.5%), office supplies (15.5%), greeting cards (14.4%), stickers (9.9%), journals/notebooks (8.3%), back-to-school (5.5%), and writing instruments (2.8%).

Over 150 publishing items include books (23.8%), calendars (19.2%), posters (13.2%), comics & graphic novels (9.3%), coloring books (8.6%), and activity books (7.3%). Over 18.5% of listing announcements stated simply “publishing.”

Health & beauty aids (HBA) had just 89 entries, with over one-third of listings for fitness and sports equipment (36.9%). It was followed by bath products such as soap and body wash (23.8%), beauty goods like cosmetics and serums, health products like bandages and oral care (7.1%), and fragrance (3.6%). Just over 10% of listings were simply for “HBA.”

Just over half of 84 listings for food & beverage deals were for food such as backed goods, fruit, and meal kits (51.2%). Confectionery and chocolate followed at 28.6% share. Beverages made up just 9.5% of listings under this umbrella with juices and unspecified mixes. For the adults, alcoholic deals were at 7.1% share and cannabis-infused goods at 3.6% share.

Consumer electronics included actual electronic devices such as headphones, speakers, and power banks at 44.8% share. The rest (55.2%) was occupied by deals for cell phone accessories including cases, charging stands, and screen protectors.

Just over one quarter of footwear entries were actually for indoor slippers (26.4%), while the rest were for sneakers, boots, and shoes (73.6%).

Most products under digital content were mobile apps (38.5%), followed by digital content like emoji or stickers (36.5%) and video games (25%).

Within the “other” category, all product categories make up less than 1% of total listings. These include pet products (0.8% of the total), luggage (0.6%), lottery/gambling (0.5%), party goods (0.4%), baby products and automotive accessories (0.3% each), and musical instruments (just 1, making its share less than 0.1%).

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