The global retail industry’s growth rate is expected to hit 4.9% in 2024, bringing total retail sales worldwide to $31.1 trillion.

If your target audience is the United States, home to some of the largest retail companies worldwide, you’ll want to pay attention to US retail sales statistics to better understand the market. Here’s a close look at US retail sales growth from the past decade.

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US retail sales

US retail sales have grown steadily over the past decade. In 2012, total sales amounted to $4.29 trillion. Fast forward to 2022, and that number has grown to $7.1 trillion—the highest US retail sales recorded in a calendar year so far. This is a whopping 65.2% increase in just a decade. 

That’s not all. Total retail sales in 2022 also marked an 8.9% year-over-year increase. Overall sales grew by over half a trillion dollars from 2021. It’s also the second-highest growth rate in more than a decade, after the 16.9% annual increase in 2021. The smallest year-over-year increase of the previous decade came in 2015, when total retail sales grew by 1.9%. From 2012 to 2022, retail sales grew by an average annual growth rate of 5.2%.

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The latest data also shows that sales hit $1.8 trillion in the third quarter of 2023. This marks a 1.5% rise from the previous quarter and a 2.3% annual increase. 

US retail sales during the COVID-19 pandemic

Even though retail sales have been rising steadily over the past decade, there was a slowdown to this growth in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic in comparison to previous years. 

For instance, total retail sales in the first quarter of 2020 fell by 1.8% from the previous quarter. It continued to fall by 3.5% in the second quarter, which was the biggest dip since the financial crisis in 2008. 

The slowdown was most evident in the US retail sales statistics from April 2020, when sales fell to $377 billion. This was a 12.3% fall from the previous month and a 15.5% year-over-year decrease. 

US ecommerce sales, on the other hand, surged during the pandemic, skyrocketing by as much as 33.5% in Q2 2020 alone, as stores shut and consumers turned to shopping online for their purchases.

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