Global Retail Industry Facts and Figures

Regional retail industry facts:

  • Some two-thirds or $6.6 trillion out of the $10 trillion American economy is consumer spending. About 40% of that ($3 trillion) is spending on discretionary products and services.
  • Retail turnover in the EU was almost €2,000 billion in 2001 and the sector’s better than average growth looks set to continue in the future.
  • Retail trade in Europe employs 15% of the European workforce (3 million firms and 13 million workers)
  • The Asian economies (excluding Japan) are expected to have 6% growth rates in 2005-6.
  • US retail CEOs and senior executives are not very optimistic about the short-term future, according to the results of the NRF-BTM (National Retail Federation-Bank of Tokyo- Mitsubishi) Retail Executive Opinion Survey, a new monthly survey that indexes key aspects of industry operations. According to this survey, despite price-cutting, customer traffic still falls below normal levels, however of customers that are buying, it appears they are spending more per transaction.
  • Positive forces at work in the retail consumer market today (by Plunkett Research, Ltd 2001-2002) include a high rate of personal expenditures, low interest rates, low unemployment and very low inflation. Negative factors which hold retail sales back include weakening consumer confidence, slowly increasing unemployment, growing numbers of store closings, decreasing levels of consumer household wealth due to stock portfolios and 401k plans that have seen huge losses in the past year, consumers with record high debt levels are defaulting on credit card balances at an alarming rate, volatility in global markets and significant continued layoffs at larger corporations require job migration and lead to large numbers of consumers employed as temp workers.

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