Global Retail Industry Facts and Figures

Global industry-related facts:

  • Worldwide retail sales are estimated at $7 trillion (USD).
  • The top 200 largest retailers account for 30% of worldwide demand.
  • The money spent on household consumption worldwide increased 68% between 1980 and 1998.
  • Retail sales are generally driven by people’s ability (disposable income) and willingness (consumer confidence) to buy.
  • Approximately 2,000 companies voluntarily report on their economic, environmental and social policies, practices and performance.
  • The 1998 UNDP Human Development Report points to the fact that advertising has global expenditures (including in developing countries) increasing faster than the world economy, suggesting that the sector is becoming one of the major players in the development process.
  • An Arthur D. Little survey of 481 executives world-wide published in 1999 found that 95% of managers believed that sustainable development offered real business value and 75% said that companies would have to make the required adjustments in vision and strategy. But only 19% said that their companies were “well down the road” in making such changes.

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