LIMA Global Study: North America Leads Licensed Retail Sales

The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association has made its first annual Global Licensing Industry Survey available for digital download. The organization revealed topline results from the report last month during the 2015 Licensing Expo, noting that the United States and Canada represented the most dominant region for licensed products with more than $144 billion in retail sales, nearly 60% of the worldwide total.

Commissioned by LIMA and conducted by Brandar Consulting, the survey includes quantifying worldwide royalty revenue and corresponding retail sales by product category, property type and geographical region. It also spotlights the latest trends and offers forward-looking analysis of the $241.5 billion global licensing business, according to LIMA.

The market for products bearing the trademarked names and likenesses of cartoon characters, corporate logos and brands, major sports teams and other licenses generated about $13.4 billion in royalty revenues on $241.5 billion in retail sales in 2014, LIMA asserted. The United States and Canada represented the most dominant region for licensed products with more than $144 billion in retail sales, nearly 60% of the worldwide total. Europe, with more than $57 billion in retail sales, accounted for just under a quarter of the global market while Asia accounted for almost 10% of total retail sales.

A major study finding is that, spurred on by the impact of digital product distribution and overall e-commerce growth, the licensing industry is becoming increasingly global and new opportunity will arise largely outside the saturated North American market, specifically in the Asia/Pacific region. The proliferation of broadband connections and the strength of Chinese e-commerce operator Alibaba resulted in online sales accounting for a third of licensed product retail sales in China, LIMA maintained, the highest in the world by a large margin.

“LIMA’s first-ever global survey clearly shows that the licensing industry is alive and well, as licensing continues to be a major marketing and retail force around the world,” said LIMA president Charles Riotto.