Total retail sales worldwide in 2021 are expected to come in at $25.04 trillion—a 7.2 percent annual increase. 

This follows a 5.7 percent decrease from 2019 to 2020 when total retail sales fell from $24.78 trillion to $23.36 trillion.

Retail sales projections from 2021 onwards, however, indicate a positive trend and growth. Already, 2021’s retail sales figure exceeds that of 2019’s $24.78 trillion—before the coronavirus pandemic. 

In 2022, total retail sales worldwide are forecast at $26.69 trillion, 6.6 percent more than the previous year. From 2018 to 2022, total retail sales are expected to increase by $3.13 trillion, an overall increase of 13.3 percent and an average annual increase of 3.3 percent.

Here’s a breakdown of how retail sales figures worldwide will grow from 2018 to 2022:

  • 2018 to 2019: 5.2 percent increase
  • 2019 to 2020: 5.7 percent decrease
  • 2020 to 2021: 7.2 percent increase
  • 2021 to 2022: 6.6 percent increase

Don’t wait for someone else to do it. Hire yourself and start calling the shots.

Get Started Free

Total Retail Sales: Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic

The slight dip in retail sales figures in 2020 is the only year-over-year decrease between 2018 and 2022.

This can be attributed to the COVID-19 outbreak. The coronavirus pandemic forced governments worldwide to shut brick-and-mortar businesses and impose lockdowns in a bid to stem the spread of the virus, which majorly affected the supply, demand, and day-to-day operations of many retailers. 

In addition to the pandemic and lockdown, the global recession, which has been deemed the worst since World War II, has had consumers tightening their purse strings and cutting back on expenditure. 

The US, the world’s largest economy, also saw a slight slowdown in 2020. In fact, US retail sales last year totaled $5.62 trillion. Despite this retail sales figure being an all-time high and a 3.16 percent year-over-year increase from 2019, it is still slower than the 3.16 percent growth from the previous year. 

Even though the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic on retailers remain to be seen, experts are encouraging retail businesses to begin planning for their survival. Actions to take include managing demand volatility, cutting down on costs and saving up, having safeguards in place for their employees, thinking long-term, and increasing communication with customers.

Want to Learn More?