Table of Contents
Table of Contents
In America, Canada, Europe, and across the world, the retail industry is faced with new threats while embracing new opportunities. During the pandemic, ecommerce grew at an unprecedented rate. Despite this, brick-and-mortar retailers are continuing to grow as consumers look to in-person shopping as more fun and experiential. Here are 70+ retail statistics that show how the market is evolving in 2023.
World retail statistics
In previous decades, the top retailers were all found in North America or Europe. However, increasingly East Asian shoppers are driving growth across the world.
Here are some interesting statistics about the global retail industry.
- The following are the biggest retail companies in the world by number of employees (in thousands): Walmart (2,100), Amazon (1,500), Kroger (500), The Home Depot (475), Target (450), Fred Meyer (430), Ahold Delhaize (413), SPAR International (410), Edeka (405), and Reliance Retail (360) (source ZoomInfo).
- The world’s largest retail businesses are dominated by American companies, with two from Germany and one each from France and China rounding out the list: Walmart (US), Amazon (US), Costco (US), Schwarz Group (Germany), Kroger (US), Walgreens Boots Alliance (US), Home Depot (US), Aldi (Germany), Carrefour (France), and JD.com (China) (Source: Forbes).
- Global retail sales is estimated to grow from $27.4 trillion in 2023 to $32 tillion in 2026 (source: Statista).
- The following is the regional breakdown of global retail sales: Africa/Middle East (1.3%), Asia Pacific (15.7%), Europe (33.2%), Latin America (1.7%), and North America (47.9%) (source: Deloitte).
- The top 250 global retail businesses are projected to grow by a collective 8.5% in 2023, following a 5.2% increase in 2022 (source: Deloitte).
- Walmart is the world’s largest retailer with $573 billion in sales in 2021 (source: Deloitte).
- Schwarz Group is the largest non-American retailer with $154 billion in sales in 2021 (source: Deloitte).
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U.S. retail statistics
The American retail market is in flux. While some larger retailers are growing, 2023 is seeing more bankruptcies. To fortify profit margins, many retailers are looking to labor- and cost-cutting technology, such as cloud-based security camera systems and self-checkouts.
Here are some interesting statistics about the American retail industry.
- The top 10 American retailers by sales are the following (in billions USD): Walmart (460), Amazon (218), Costco (140), The Home Depot (140), The Kroger Co. (136), Walgreens Boots Alliance (108), Target (105), CVS Health Corporation (93), Lowe’s Companies (88), and Albertsons Companies (72) (source: NRF).
- The top 10 American food retailers by store count are the following: Dollar General (17,266), Dollar Tree (15,685), Seven & i Holdings (13,839), Couche-Tard (9978), CVS (9960), Walgreens Boots Alliance (9021), Walmart (5342), Kroger (2742), Rite Aid (2510), and Loblaw (2439) (source: Supermarket News).
- As of April 23rd, 2023, eight large US retailers had applied for bankruptcy protection, including Bed, Bath & Beyond, far outpacing the ten total retail bankruptcies in 2022 (source: CBInsights),
- Currently, only 29.8% of U.S. retailers are using or planning to implement AI-based POS/SCO video analytics technology (source: NRF).
- About 56.5% of American retail workers are women (source: U.S. Census Bureau).
- Dick’s Sporting Goods and Footlocker are the latest large retailers revising their profit forecast down for the second half of 2023 due to lowered consumer spending (Source: Reuters).
Canada retail statistics
While the largest retailers in America and Europe are diversified across multiple subsectors, they are predominantly pharmacies and supermarkets in Canada.
Here are some interesting statistics about the Canadian retail industry.
- The biggest Canadian retailers by sales are the following (in millions CAD): Shoppers Drug Mart, The Real Canadian Superstore, Loblaws (45,836), Costco (26,689), Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Farm Boy (25,142), Walmart Supercenters, Walmart (24,012), Metro, Food Basics, Jean Coutu Pharmacy (14,384), Canadian Tire, Mark’s Work Wearhouse, Sport Chek (10,496), IDA Pharmacy, Uniprix, Rexall Drug Store (9,192), Lowe’s, Rona, Rona Home & Garden (8,418), The Home Depot (8,409), and Home Hardware, Home Hardware Building Centre (6,100) (source: RCC).
- Canadian retail sales were up 2.4% year on year in March 2023, ranking among the best countries in the world for retail sales growth (source: Global News).
- As of 2018, there are 145,000 physical retail stores in Canada (source: RCR).
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European retail statistics
Europe has seen more, stickier inflation than Canada or the USA and it seems to be having a negative impact on the local economy. Unlike other parts of the world, the retail growth rate in Europe has been consistently negative through most of 2022 and 20223.
Here are some interesting statistics about the European retail industry.
- As of April 2023, overall retail growth has been negative for seven straight months and ten of the last twelve months (source: Trading Economics).
- The biggest retailers in Europe are based in Germany, France, and the UK: Schwarz (Germany), Aldi (Germany), Carrefour (France), Tesco (UK), Rewe (Germany), Edeka (Germany), Les Mousquetaires (France), E.Leclerc (France), Sainsbury (UK), and Auchan (France) (source: Retail-Index).
U.K. retail statistics
The U.K. has been one of the hardest hit countries for inflation, with a particularly high peak and much less progress on reducing the inflation rate. This has had a mixed effect on retail sales, with lower volume but higher total value, as well as an uncertain effect on net profits.
Here are some interesting statistics about the British retail industry.
- U.K. retail sales increased by 0.5% in April 2023, followed by 0.3% in May 2023 (source: ONS).
- Due to inflation, retail sales volume is down 1.6% in May 2023 versus May 2019 but retail sales value is up 16.9% over the same period (source: ONS).
- The increase in sales volume in the U.K is mainly due to fuel purchases and ecommerce (source: ONS).
- In May 2023, retail sales in Great Britain totaled £8.9 billion per week, up from £8.7 billion in April (source: U.K Parliament).
- Retail sector economic output was £97.0 billion in 2020, down 2.5% from 2019 (source: U.K Parliament).
- In 2019, the U.K. retail sector employed three million people (source: U.K Parliament).
- As of 1 January 2020, there are 310,000 registered retail businesses in the U.K. (source: U.K Parliament).
- Ecommerce has risen rapidly, reaching 20% of retail sales in 2019 and post-pandemic represents 28% of all retail sales in Great Britain (source: U.K Parliament).
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Retail sales statistics
Retail sales globally have been hit by a lot of supply- and demand-side shocks over the last 18 months:
- The war in Ukraine
- Oil prices skyrocketing, plummeting, and now jumping again
- The end of the pandemic
- Rising interest rates
- Lower household disposable income
Overall, this seems to have increased sales of needed goods and services while, perhaps, seeing the first drops since 2020 in discretionary spending.
Here are some interesting statistics about retail sales.
- As of May 2023, retail sales are up approximately 4% year on year, but the categories “Furniture & Home” and “Electronics & Appliances” are currently down 5% and 4%, respectively (source: RetailDive).
- Grocery stores have among the lowest profit margins of all retail sectors while distribution centers and building supplies stores have the highest (source: NYU Stern).
- The volatility of the retail industry has increased 250% since 2010, with $200 billion in sales being traded among competitors each year (source: Deloitte).
- Best Buy’s profit margin was 2.93% in April 2023, down from a high of 5.05% in October 2022 (source: Macrotrends).
- Walmart’s profit margin has been highly unstable since 2018, with lows of around 1% and highs of nearly 4% and is, as of April 2023, 1.82% (source: Macrotrends).
Retail shrinkage statistics
Most large retailers have pointed to higher retail shrink over the last year in their annual reports to shareholders. This can be attributed to higher costs for consumers whose salaries are not keeping pace, leading some people to shoplift or steal from their employer.
Here are some interesting statistics about retail shrinkage.
- Target’s retail shrink was $700 million in 2022 and is estimated to be $500 million in 2023 (Source: SecurityInfowatch).
- Overall, 25.7% of retail shrink is due to process or control failures (source: Forbes).
- In 2022, 51.6% of loss prevention/asset protection teams did not change in size, with 31.7% of teams increasing and 11.3% decreasing (source: NRF).
- Under half of all loss prevention/asset protection teams consider themselves adequately involved in cybersecurity, with less than one in ten protecting their company’s retail app from cyberthreats (source: NRF).
- Only 8% of loss prevention/asset protection teams reported diminished budgets in 2022, while about 45% saw their budget increase (source: NRF).
- Over 60% of retailers are reporting an increased budgetary focus on loss prevention technology in 2022 (source: NRF).
Retail crime statistics
Retail crime has seen increases year on year in 2022 and 2023. This is leading retailers to invest more in their loss prevention system. They’ve also expanded their asset protection procedures to focus more on large thefts, disruptive behavior, and other issues that can have compounding effects on their business through reputational damage.
Here are some interesting statistics about retail crime.
- Almost 80% of companies surveyed stated that guest on employee violence has become a greater concern in the last year (source: NRF).
- Approximately 57% of companies surveyed stated that internal theft is an increasing concern in their business (source: NRF).
- The vast majority of respondents to the NRF survey stated that the main locations for cargo theft are at third-party centers, from distribution centers to stores, and at stores (source: NRF).
- Respondents to the NRF survey have seen COVID-19-related increases in different risks to their business: overall risk (87.7%), violence (89.7%), shoplifting (72.4%), ORC (70.7%), employee theft (58.6%), and cargo theft (28.6%) (source: NRF).
- It is estimated that 25% of shoplifters are underage, and 55% of adult shoplifters say they started as a teenager (source: HG.org).
Organized retail crime (ORC) statistics
Organized retail crime (ORC) has been on a steady rise over the last decade. These events can not only cost the company thousands of dollars in lost merchandise per occurrence but also lead to the perception of the shop being an unsafe place to frequent. As such, loss prevention strategies are increasingly focused on major ORC events instead of petty shoplifting.
Here are some interesting statistics about organized retail crime (ORC).
- Approximately 71% of companies surveyed stated that ORC is an increasing concern in their business (source: NRF).
- Overall, 52.9% of companies surveyed indicated that ORC activity has increased in their stores, but 76.5% of those with ORC tactical teams said the same (source: NRF).
- Los Angeles, San Francisco/Oakland, New York, Houston, and Miami are the most affected metropolitan areas by ORC (source: NRF).
- Approximately 30 thieves stole $300,000 in merchandise from an Yves St Laurent store in Glendale, California during a single “flash mob burglary” incident (source: CNN).
- Approximately 30 thieves stole over $300,000 in merchandise from a Nordstrom store in Los Angeles, California in the second “flash mob robbery” to hit that store in two years (source: CNN).
Retail employment statistics
The retail industry employs a lot of people, with most being young workers and the majority are women. The demand for new retail workers has skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic. However, retailers are finding it difficult to recruit and retain new retail employees. This has been rated as the biggest issue facing retailers in America in 2023.
Here are some interesting statistics about the retail labor market.
- As of May 2023, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 15,550,800 people are employed in the American retail industry (source: BLS).
- The U.S. retail industry has seen annualized employment growth of 3.6% from 2018 to 2023 (source: IBISWorld).
- Over half of all American retail workers are aged 16–34 (source: United States Census Bureau).
- Demand for retail jobs in America has quadrupled since 2020 (source: TextKernel).
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Retail foot traffic statistics
With high inflation stretching consumer spending, there has been an overall decrease in foot traffic at retail stores in 2023. The one sector seeing a noticeable increase, however, are supercenters such as Walmart and Costco, which are perceived as having lower costs for necessary goods such as food.
Here are some interesting statistics about retail foot traffic.
- U.S. retail foot traffic was down 3.7% in January 2023 compared to January 2022 (source: Blue Book Services).
- Indoor and outdoor malls saw lower Black Friday traffic in 2022 than both 2021 (down 2.3% and 3.9%, respectively) and pre-pandemic numbers (down 14.2% and 17.8%, respectively (source: Digital Commerce 360).
- Supercenters (Costco, Walmart, BJ’s, and Target) have seen their traffic increase compared to pre-pandemic numbers, while shopping center foot traffic has not recovered yet (source: Forbes).
Ecommerce vs. brick-and-mortar retail statistics
The ecommerce industry saw faster growth during the pandemic than pre-2020. However, that growth seems to have flattened out in 2022 and 2023 as consumers want to get out and shop in person again. Interestingly, app-based ecommerce has grown considerably, with many retailers now actively focusing on retaining previous in-person shoppers who are also shopping online.
Here are some interesting statistics comparing ecommerce and brick-and-mortar retail.
- The following are the 10 biggest retailers by US ecommerce sales: Amazon (408.19), Walmart (71.93), Apple (43.84), eBay (40.09), Target (23.89), The Home Depot (21.78), Carvana (19.11), Best Buy (18.11), Costco (17.15), and The Kroger Co. (14.56) (in billions USD): (source: Insider Intelligence).
- People spent 109 billion hours on ecommerce apps in 2022, up 10% from 2021 (source: ecommerceDB).
- Ecommerce sales jumped from 15.1% of total retail sales in 2019 to 19.1% in 2020 due to the pandemic, but remained steady at 19.1% market share in 2021 (source: Digital Commerce 360).
- In 2021, total retail sales grew by 14%, while ecommerce retail sales increased by 14.2% (source: Digital Commerce 360).
- Ecommerce retail sales reached $871 billion in 2021 compared to $3.68 brick-and-mortar retail sales (source: Digital Commerce 360).
- Overall, 61.1% of companies that responded to the NRF survey stated that ecommerce fraud had increased in the last year (source: NRF).
- In 2023, global brick and mortar retail sales are estimated to be $20 trillion versus $5.8 trillion in online sales (source: Statista).
- In America, 71% of small businesses have a website (source: Cision).
Solink helps retailers save money and drive revenue
Soink’s cloud-based video surveillance solution offers advanced video analytics capabilities designed with large and small retailers in mind:
- Footfall tracking to understand new metrics such as conversion rates or the average value of a visitor
- Speed of service analysis
- The ability to detect block exits to reduce the potential for health and safety fines
- Motion and event search to track down internal and external theft.
To see how Solink transforms your CCTV security system from cost center to revenue driver, sign up for a demo today.
Timothy Ware is Solink’s Content Manager. He brings over ten years of writing and editing experience to the job. When he isn’t writing about security, loss prevention, and asset protection, he’s enjoying his newest board game. His work has appeared on many B2B SaaS websites including Baremetrics, Security Today, TeamPassword, Cova, and SignTime.