Chart showing: Global Retail Industry Growth Rate (2021–2027)

Global Retail Industry Growth Rate (2021–2027)

A recent market report shows that the global retail industry is expected to follow an upward growth trend in the foreseeable future. In 2024, the retail industry growth is set to hit 4.9%. This increase will bring total retail sales worldwide to $31.1 trillion.

2024’s figure represents a sustained deceleration in annual growth rates from the previous few years. In 2021, the global retail industry growth rate registered at 12.6%—the largest increase expected between 2021 and 2027. This fell by nearly half the following year, to 6.8%, before dipping further to 5.5% in 2023, as overall retail sales rose to $29.7 trillion.

Growth is expected to continue in the coming years, albeit at a slower rate. In 2025, the retail industry growth rate is forecast at 4.2%—0.7 percentage points lower than this year. According to analysts’ projections, 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 2021 to 2027. 

Overall, from 2021 to 2027, the average annual retail industry growth rate is expected at approximately 5.9% as total retail sales worldwide rise to a projected $34.9 trillion in 2027.

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 United States 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.

Here’s a list of the current top five 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

US retail industry growth forecast

The US retail industry growth forecast for 2024 is at 3.5%, a 0.9 percentage point increase from the previous year’s 2.6%, as total retail sales in the country rise to $7.4 trillion. Analysts expect the US retail industry’s sales growth to slow to 3.1% in 2025, and then to 3% in 2026.

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