The following US retail industry statistics will show you how retail is undergoing a profound transformation. Before digging into these statistics, let’s see what retail means.
Retail is a type of commerce where companies offer goods and services directly to their customers by using different distribution channels.
Nowadays, there’s a relatively thin line between online and offline companies—most traditional brick-and-mortar stores integrate social media, websites, and other online platforms in their business. However, some native digital brands establish physical shops solely to accommodate retailtainment.
Top US Retail Industry Statistics: Editor’s Choice
General US Retail Trends
In today’s digital era, the worldwide retail market is still reaching staggering numbers. But is it the same for the US? See what the numbers say below.
1. The global retail industry is expected to reach $9,372.60 million by the end of 2025.
So, how big is the retail industry? According to PR News Wire, the retail market size was $4,581.96 million in 2019. It is expected to grow even more by the end of 2025 at a CAGR of 12.66%. This figure suggests that the retail industry has become more dynamic than a couple of years ago.
2. Retail stores statistics prove that about 73% of buyers use various channels during their shopping journey.
These days, retail companies need to run their business on multiple channels to stay in the game. Most offline retailers using the traditional channel would advance a lot by integrating the physical store with digital media.
3. According to retail sales data, the industry sales amount to nearly $25 trillion this year.
In 2019, global retail sales were around $24.8 trillion. While this indicator had a slight fall in 2020, global retail sales are expected to rise again up to $26.7 trillion by 2022. Most of the top retailers by revenue are American companies, such as Walmart and Amazon.
4. The latest statistics reported that 9.8 million people work in the retail industry in the US.
Most retail workers are salespeople and cashiers, accounting for around 3.3 million workers each. First-line supervisors rank second with 3.1 million employees. Retail employment statistics demonstrate that young and less educated women earning lower wages are the most common retail workers in the US.
5. US small and mid-sized retailers process around 482 transactions per store per month.
Additionally, New Zealand companies processed more than 500 monthly transactions, and North American firms undertook 426. United States retail sales statistics reveal that these businesses mostly own from one to ten physical stores.
6. The average SMB’s monthly income is approximately $22,340.
SMB’s monthly income is not huge compared to large companies. The retail industry revenue has a gross margin of 50.96%, which resists the demise predicted in the last few years. The top-earning retailers belong to the furniture industry, with a monthly income of $39,572. Despite their thriving popularity, cosmetics retailers make the least—$18,644 per month.
US Retail Industry Trends
Which are the profit margins coming from the retail industry? How big is the market in America retailing?
Let’s find out from the following statistics.
7. Retailers’ profit margins are generally between 0.5% and 4.5%.
Although profit margins highly depend on the industry, the clothing and electronics retailers have the highest profit margins. On the other hand, web retailers have the lowest ones. Low-profit margins mostly come from a highly competitive market. US retail industry statistics in 2020 indicate that people can compare costs between different brands and choose the best deals.
8. In 2024, total retail sales are expected to rise to $5.94 trillion.
According to Statista, this number will continue to grow over the years. However, the US retail sales fell to $4.89 trillion in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As far as the current year is considered, total retail sales will reach $5.33 trillion.
9. In 2021, the retail industry market size is worth $5 trillion.
The retail industry market size has increased exponentially during the last few years, and predictions state it will continue to grow. Yet, the US retail market size saw a modest fall in 2020 because of the global pandemic. Currently, the number is gradually going up again.
10. In 2021, Amazon will make up 50% of US retail sales.
Amazon is the leading online retailer in the US, counting the highest number of customers. In 2017, Amazon’s US retail market share was around 37%. However, this percentage will rise to 50% of the overall eCommerce gross merchandise volume (GMV) by the end of the year.
11. 69% of Americans have purchased a product online.
Shopping habits in the US have enormously evolved over the last few years. US retail sales statistics demonstrate that more than two-thirds of consumers have bought something online. The remaining one-third is afraid to give credit cards and personal data to companies.
12. Around 81% of customers search for a product online before purchasing in a physical store.
US retail sales data reveals that a growing number of consumers research and compare prices online before purchasing in a brick-and-mortar store. Additionally, most consumers spend about 79 days collecting information about the product, especially before making a big purchase.
13. Walmart has a total revenue of $408.9 billion.
Among the largest retailers in the US, Walmart is the leading retail chain by revenue in 5,259 different stores. Amazon comes second with $232.88 billion and has 533 stores, and Kroger ranks third with $123.25 billion and 3,007 stores. It’s evident that marketplaces, grocery stores, and furniture companies have the highest annual revenue.
14. According to US retail industry statistics, almost 80% of Americans shop online.
Pew Research shows how 51% of Americans use their smartphones when shopping online. Mobile has become the center of marketing over the last few years, and its usage will continue to increase among both businesses and consumers. This year, US retail eCommerce sales will come mostly from mobile than any other device.
Facts about Commerce Department Retail Sales
Now that you have a better knowledge of the most general stats and facts about the retail industry in America, here is some insightful data about department store chains, their market size, and sales.
15. Kohl’s is the largest department store chain, with more than 1,160 stores in the US.
Kohl’s, JCPenney, Sears, Macy’s, and Nordstrom are among the largest department stores in the US. Kohl’s is the leading chain of stores spreading across 49 states, while JCPenney ranks second with 840 shops opened in 49 states.
16. In 2019, Target had the largest department store market share of 38%.
Target sells a wide range of items, including food, apparel, and household appliances. The company was among the leading general discount store businesses in the US and globally. Walmart and Macy are ranked second, with a retail market share of 13% of the overall industry.
17. In 2020, there were 6,297 department stores in the US.
Since most people have been shopping online in the last few years, this number is gradually decreasing. The physical stores serve as showrooms rather than places to purchase products. This year, the number of retail department stores in the US is estimated to be 5,977, much less than the previous year.
18. In October 2020, discount department store sales reached about $7.3 billion.
Right the month after, discount department stores earned $8.2 billion in sales. Discount retail industry trends show that the revenue has increased considerably in only one month, suggesting that discount stores are among the most profitable kinds of retail stores.
19. Christmas retail sales grew by nearly $755.3 billion in 2020.
Christmas is the best time of the year for both retailers and consumers. As demonstrated by the Christmas retail sales industry in the US statistics, retail sales during the holiday season have grown remarkably since the economic crisis in 2008. Consumers tend to spend the most during this holiday. Black Friday is also the day when shoppers plan what to buy for Christmas.
20. Retail sales projections suggest that the global retail clothing industry will most likely reach $3 trillion by 2030.
The apparel industry has been facing incredible growth recently, especially in Asia-Pacific and some European markets. Retail clothing industry statistics indicate that the Netherlands buys the most clothing items, followed by the United States. In 2019, the apparel market had a value of $368 billion. Top retailers such as TJX and Macy’s have gained more than $20 billion each.
21. Cashiers in food and beverage stores earned, on average, $12 per hour in 2019.
More than 2.9 million people worked in food and beverage stores. US food retail industry employment statistics suggest that cashiers and shelf stockers accounted for approximately half of the jobs in the whole food industry. Most food and beverage jobs have lower wages than other retail sectors, roughly around $12.36 per hour.
US Retail Industry Statistics: The Takeaway
We hope that these statistics helped you understand that a seamless customer experience is crucial if you want to stay competitive in the retail market. The global retail industry is highly competitive, especially in the developed economies, which can be seen by the retail industry growth rate—a CAGR of >4% over the next few years.
The collision of digital shops and traditional brick-and-mortar stores has changed customers’ purchasing behaviors. Buyers expect their shopping experience to be available on different channels, especially mobile devices.
Frequently Asked Questions
What percentage of retail sales is online?
It’s not a secret that online retail sales are increasing over the past few years. Many people feel more comfortable purchasing online goods than showing up in a brick-and-mortar store.
In 2019, eCommerce sales constituted 11% of the total retail sales in the US. This year, the figure will reach approximately 15%. In 2017, the leading e-retailer was Amazon, counting $54.47 billion only in online sales. That same year, Walmart’s eCommerce sales were around $14 billion.
What percentage of annual sales do the holidays represent?
In the US, holidays like Christmas, New Year, and Black Friday achieve the highest annual retail sales.
Over the past five years, the Christmas holiday season alone has generated a staggering 19% of all yearly retail sales. However, this figure can vary from one retail sector to another—the clothing or decoration stores are most likely to improve their sales during the holidays.
Holiday sales are usually higher than any other time of the year, since most consumers buy presents during the Christmas period.
What is the largest retailer in the US?
For the fourth time in a row, Walmart is the largest retailer in America, making up 14% of the country’s retail market share. Amazon ranks second with a 9.7% market share. However, this company is the leading market in the world. CVS Health scores 6.7% of the total retail market.
Also, Costco Wholesale and Walgreens Boots Alliance are an essential part of the top five retailers with the largest market share in the country.
How many retail stores in the US?
In the US, retail stores are still very successful—food and beverages, clothing, home decor, motor vehicle, and personal care stores are some of the most popular sectors in the country.
Today, the US counts more than a million retail stores. Since 2010, retail sales have increased roughly 4% every year. Despite the considerable transformation the retail store industry is experiencing, statistics indicate that more and more companies are opening new stores.
How big is the retail industry in the US?
Currently, the retail industry market size in America is $5 trillion. Even with the ongoing COVID-19, the US retail industry keeps achieving astonishing numbers. What’s more, this market will continue to grow even more over the next few years.
Even though brick-and-mortar stores are experiencing a massive downfall because of the pandemic, that’s not true for eCommerce. In fact, online shops have become the preferred purchasing channel for many Americans.
What percent of the US economy is retail?
Although retail is highly successful in America, the US retail industry statistics show that this industry only makes up 5.5% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Compared to the 21% of finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing, the retail industry percentage is not a powerful driving force for the US economy. Whether retail stores are online or offline, the American economy cannot live without the presence of retailing.
Bureau of Labor, Census, Harvard Business Review, Ibis World, Investopedia, NPR/Marist, Pew Research, PR News Wire, Produce Blue Book, ScrapeHero, Statista, Statista, Statista, Statista, Statista, Statista, Statista, Transaction Agency, Vend, Vox