‘Star Wars’ Helped Boost Global Sales of Licensed Merchandise in 2015 – Deadline

Global retail sales of licensed merchandise rose 4.2% last year to $251.7 billion, driven by consumer passion for everything. star wars, the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) reports this morning as they kick off the industry’s annual Licensing Expo conference in Las Vegas.

Rights holders’ share of the retail pie rose 7.8% to $13.9 billion, with the average royalty rate dropping from 8.2% to 8.5%, according to information from the second Annual Survey of the Global Licensing Industry by Brandar Consulting.

Toys, apparel and other entertainment and character-related goods, including movies and TV shows, accounted for 45% of global retail sales of licensed merchandise, or $113.2 billion, up from $107.2 billion dollars in 2014.

star wars was the force that everyone reckoned with.

The Disney outlet, with $700 million in retail sales last year, “generated more sales and contributed to more growth than jurassic world, Minionsand avengers combined,” research firm NPD Group said in January. He estimated that sales of movie-related merchandise grew 9.4% in 2015.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is definitely the story of the year,” says Marty Brochstein, SVP of LIMA. “It became something that affected everyone’s business. It’s a split-mind business, and it was hard to get in front of the consumer with other things because star wars was so strong.

Its success could pose a problem for this year’s sales tally.

“The natural order of things is that the second year won’t be as important as the first,” says Brochstein. “You have a very different story this year with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This is for an older audience the force awakens. And by nature, those don’t attract as much licensing business… That would be the natural path if things weren’t quite where they were in 2015.”

This is important because consumers are inundated with licensed merchandise.

Still, store shelves and e-commerce sites will likely become even more filled with entertainment-related stuff.

When Comcast’s NBCUniversal closes its acquisition of DreamWorks Animation, it plans to heavily promote merchandise around its productions, including Shrek.

Additionally, YouTube channels and video-on-demand services including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are developing programs and characters.

Last year, consumers in the United States and Canada spent $145.5 billion on all licensed merchandise, up 3.9% and representing 57.7% of the global total. The rest of the world spent $106.4 billion, up 4.8%.

It wasn’t all about entertainment. People spent $52.8 billion on branded products. The fashion names sold $29.8 billion. And sports accounted for another $24.9 billion.

Clothing and apparel led the way among licensed products, with $37.9 billion in retail sales. Next come toys ($33.7 billion) and fashion accessories ($28.5 billion).

Most people still buy from brick-and-mortar stores. But online sales are growing steadily: they accounted for 18.3% of licensed retail sales last year, up from 16.4% in 2014.