The global retail industry is on an upward growth trend in 2021 following a deep tumble in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The retail industry growth forecast for 2021 is 7.2 percent. This is a 12.3 percentage point jump from the 5.7 percent dip experienced in 2020, which experts attribute to a higher unwillingness by consumers to spend amid economic uncertainty. 

The plunge in 2020 follows a period of growth. In 2018, the retail industry growth rate came in at 4.6 percent before rising slightly to 5.2 percent in 2019. 

Despite the surge to positive numbers in 2021, the retail industry’s growth is expected to slow down slightly next year. 2022’s retail industry growth forecast is just a fraction lower at 6.6 percent. 

Overall, in the period from 2018 to 2022, the average annual retail industry growth rate is expected at approximately 3.58 percent as total retail sales worldwide rise from $23.56 trillion in 2018 to a projected $26.69 trillion in 2022.

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Top Global Retailers

The biggest drivers of the rising retail industry growth rate are the world’s largest retailers. Currently, the world’s top retail companies are located in the US and Europe, with a majority from the former.

The largest retailer, Walmart, saw a turnover of more than half a trillion ($527.8 billion) in 2020, nearly double that of its closest competitor and ecommerce giant Amazon.

Here’s a list of the top ten global retailers and their global sales revenue in 2020:

  1. Walmart (US): $527.8 billion
  2. Amazon (US): $268.2 billion
  3. Costco (US): $156.6 billion
  4. Schwarz (Germany): $133.3 billion
  5. Kroger (US): $124.9 billion
  6. Walgreens (US): $116.4 billion
  7. Home Depot (US): $111.3 billion
  8. Aldi (Germany): $110.6 billion
  9. (China): $103.3 billion
  10. Carrefour (France): $94.2 billion

US Retail Industry Growth Forecast

US retail sales growth forecast for 2021 is at 2.3 percent and is expected to rise further to 4.1 percent in 2022. 

In comparison, 2019’s growth rate was 2.8 percent. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the US retail industry grew slightly (0.8 percent) in 2020, which is expected to be the slowest growth rate in five years.

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