A recent market report shows that the global retail industry is expected to follow an upward growth trend in the foreseeable future. In 2023, the retail industry growth is set to hit 5.5%, marking a rebound after it fell during the COVID-19 pandemic, which experts attribute to a higher unwillingness by consumers to spend amid economic uncertainty. This increase will bring total retail sales worldwide to $29.7 trillion.

Growth is expected to continue in the coming years, albeit at a slower rate. In 2024, the retail industry growth rate is forecast at 4.9%—0.6 percentage points lower than this year. 

According to analysts’ projections, the retail industry’s growth is expected to slow further in 2025, to 4.2%. The global retail industry’s growth rate is forecast to decline even more in 2026 and 2027, to 3.8% and 3.6%, respectively. 2027’s growth rate is also the slowest in the forecast period from 2023 to 2027.

Overall, in the period from 2023 to 2027, the average annual retail industry growth rate is expected at approximately 4.4% as total retail sales worldwide rise to a projected $34.9 trillion in 2027.

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Top global retailers

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

The largest retailer, Walmart, saw a turnover of more than half a trillion ($585.2 billion) in 2022, way ahead of its closest competitor and ecommerce giant Amazon.

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Here’s a list of the current top 10 global retailers and their total retail revenues:

  1. Walmart (US): $585.2 billion
  2. Amazon (US): $352.7 billion
  3. Costco (US): $219.2 billion
  4. Schwarz Group (Germany): $159.8 billion
  5. The Home Depot (US): $157.3 billion
  6. Aldi (Germany): $130.4 billion
  7. Walgreens Boots Alliance (US): $124.3 billion
  8. Carrefour (France): $108.4 billion
  9. Alibaba (China): $96 billion
  10. Seven & I (Japan): $94.6 billion

US retail industry growth forecast

The US retail industry growth forecast for 2023 is at 3.5%, a rate at which it’s set to hold steady in 2024 and 2025. This also marks a one percentage point increase from 2022’s 2.5%.

In comparison, 2021’s growth rate was 15.5%. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the US retail industry grew by 3% in 2020, thanks to a surge in ecommerce sales (32.4%).

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