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Retail market worldwide - Statistics & Facts

Retail relates to the sale of goods and services to consumers. Transactions take place through various channels of distribution across an ever-growing range of industries, such as food, motor vehicles, apparel, and electronics. Retail markets and shops from a network of physical retail stores which consumers visit to purchase goods and services. While physical or in-store retail is the dominant channel in this market, forms of non-store retailing are becoming more and more popular. Online retailing or e-commerce markets are carving out a share of the retail sector in many global markets. Desktop and mobile commerce are examples of business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce. Many retailers operate an omni-channel model, which aims to integrate offline and online channels. The global retail market had sales of approximately 24 trillion U.S. dollars in 2018.

The United States is the largest retail market in the world, with sales of over five trillion U.S. dollars. Physical stores account for the majority of sales in this market. Mass merchandisers are the largest contributors to this industry. The U.S. is home to some of the world’s biggest grocery and general merchandise retailers in Walmart, Costco, and Kroger. However, it is represented in many other sectors, by companies like Amazon, The Home Depot, and CVS, which are also based in the U.S.

Retail in Europe follows a similar pattern with mass merchandisers Carrefour and Tesco two of the leading European retailers. German retailers Schwarz Gruppe (Lidl) and Aldi who both operate cut-price discount store models are other leading retailers from the region. Both companies have a strong footing outside of their domestic markets. Germany, the United Kingdom, and France are the biggest markets in this region.

Asia is home to some of the biggest retail markets in the world in China, Japan, and India. Seven & I Holdings, owner of Seven-Eleven, and are two of the largest retailers coming from this region. Online sales channels appear to be quite popular in Asian markets. Online sales accounted for almost a quarter of all retail sales in China in 2017.

Walmart is the largest retail corporation in the world, operating discount department and warehouse stores in 27 countries. The retail chain offers low prices in a wide selection of products. In 2019, the company generated global net sales of approximately 514.4 billion U.S. dollars. As of the 2019 fiscal year, the company operated more than eleven thousand stores throughout the world and this figure is more than likely to increase as the company continues to expand into emerging markets.

Interesting statistics

In the following 3 chapters, you will quickly find the {amountStatistics} most important statistics relating to "Retail market worldwide".

Retail market worldwide

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Important key figures

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Selected retail markets

Leading global retailers


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