Retail Statistics: The Key Data, Numbers, and Growth [Updated]

The world of retail is vast, with 9.1 million online retailers spread across different regions. A sizable portion, 2.5 million to be precise, operate within the United States. 

When we delve deeper into U.S. figures, we find that 15.1% of its retail sales occur online, showing a growing preference for digital shopping. As we approach the end of 2023, projections suggest that retail sales will see an increase of 4%-6%, potentially reaching between $5.1 to $5.2 trillion. 

Let me share the most crucial retail statistics you should be aware of right away. 🛒🌐

Retail Statistics: The Key Data

  • There are 9.1 million online retailers in the world, and 2.5 million of them are in the United States.
  • 15.1% of U.S. retail sales are made online, while 84.9% are made in physical stores.
  • As of Q3 2020, the US had 1,045,422 retail establishments, up 4,801 from Q2 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • The National Retail Federation predicts a 4%–6% increase in retail sales in 2023, reaching $5.1–5.2 trillion.
  • 24% of cyberattacks targeted retailers, more than any other industry.
  • The retail industry had 629 incidents and 241 breaches in 2022.
  • Organized retail crime accounts for 1.47% of retailer sales.
  • The average retail shrinkage rate has hovered around 1.4% for over a decade.
  • Retail foot traffic dropped 8.1% in March 2023 compared to March 2019.
  • Since 2010, retail sales have increased nearly 4% annually.
  • 90% of retail sales happen in physical stores.
  • According to projections, total global retail will reach $31.3 trillion by 2025.
  • In 2022, global retail sales exceeded 27 trillion dollars.
  • As of 2023, the US has 1,045,422 retail stores.
  • There are 2.1 million US ecommerce retailers.
  • US retailers will spend $50 billion on digital ads in 2023.
  • 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase.
  • 80% of shoppers believe that the customer experience is just as important as the products and services.
  • 54% of consumers say they are more likely to look at a product online before purchasing it in-store.
  • Total retail sales will increase between 4% and 6% in 2023 compared to 2022 levels.

Sources: (Industry Dive, Epam Anywhere, Statista, Zippia, Digital in the Round, Invoca, General Electric, Help Scout.)

Retail Shrinkage Statistics: The Key Data

Retail shrinkage is a persistent concern, with the average rate lingering around 1.4% for years, amounting to a substantial $94.5 billion loss in 2021, or 1.44% of sales. 

  • The average retail shrinkage rate has hovered around 1.4% for over a decade.
  • Retailers report 26.5% increases in organized retail crime, employee theft, violence, and omnichannel fraud.
  • Retail shrink cost retailers $94.5 billion in 2021, 1.44% of sales.
  • Retail cost increased 53.16% in last two years due to shrink.
  • Most retail shrinkage is caused by external theft (37%), employee theft (28.5%), and process or control failures (25.7%). 
  • Retailers reported 81% shrinkage increases in 2022.
  • Store theft accounts for 40% of retail shrinkage.
  • The average shrink rate as a percentage of sales dropped to 1.4% in 2021 from 1.6% in 2020.
  • Employee internal theft accounted for more than a quarter (28.5%) of retail shrinkage.
  • In 2021, nearly twice as many businesses reported shrink rates of 3% or higher than in previous years.

Sources: (CBS 58, Investors, Chain Storeage, NRF, Forbes, Tony Donofrio, Linkedin, CNN, CNBC, Shopify.)

Retail Foot Traffic Statistics: The Key Data

The retail industry has seen substantial shifts in foot traffic, with a global decline of 62.5% in 2020. Notably, retail traffic experienced an additional drop of 8.1% in March 2023 compared to March 2019. 

  • Retail traffic dropped 8.1% in March 2023 compared to March 2019.
  • Global retail foot traffic fell by 62.5% in 2020.
  • The most foot traffic increased at arts and craft supply stores (40%), department stores (34%), outlet malls (32%), and shopping centers (31%).
  • Walmart, McDonald’s, and Subway have the most daily foot traffic in the U.S.
  • Retail foot traffic was 3.9% higher during the week of November 7, 2021, compared to the same week in 2019.
  • In Q1 2023, shopping visits rose 20% from the previous year.
  • Walmart foot traffic rose 22.2%, year-over-year.

Sources: (Globest, Retail Customer Experience, Retaildive, Geekwire, Resonai, Gravy Analytics.)

  • The market size of AI in Retail was valued at USD 6 billion in 2022 and is expected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 30% from 2023 to 2032.
  • In fact, it is estimated that $40 billion of additional revenue was driven by AI in retail in a 3-year span.
  • 80% of retail executives expect their companies to adopt AI-powered intelligent automation by 2027.
  • Currently, 4% retail use AI in their operations.

Source: (Gminsights, Hitachi, O’reilly)

Retail Food Waste Statistics: The Key Data

Grocery stores in the United States face a substantial issue with food waste, as about 30% of food is wasted, posing both environmental and economic challenges. 

  • About 30% of food is wasted by grocery stores in the United States.
  • Approximately 16 billion pounds of food waste are generated annually by US retail stores.
  • Food waste costs grocery stores an estimated $18.2 billion annually.
  • Food waste in the retail sector is valued at roughly 2X the amount of profit generated from food sales.
  • 40% of total food waste is generated at the retail level, which includes grocery stores, restaurants, and food service companies.
  • The average American grocer throws away $5,000–$10,000 worth of food per week.
  • The majority of this waste came from produce (32.3%), dairy and eggs (13.9%), and fresh meat and seafood (13.5%).
  • In 2021, retailers produced 5.12 million tons of excess food, nearly 35% of which was disposed of in landfills or incinerated as waste.
  • Due to overproduction or overordering, 67.7% of prepared foods are wasted.
  • In the United States, the market share of conventional supermarkets has decreased from 69.7% in 2017 to 66.2% in 2022.

Sources: (RTS, Waste 360, Refed, Forbes, Food Engineering Mag, Winsight Grocery Business.)

Retail Investor Statistics: The Key Data

The engagement of retail investors is increasingly notable, with over 1.5 million buying or selling shares in 2022 and an average daily investment of $1.51 billion into U.S. stocks. 

  • Over 1.5 million retail investors bought or sold shares in 2022.
  • Every day, retail investors poured $1.51 billion into U.S. stocks.
  • 69% to 84% of retail investors experience losses.
  • Retail investors make up 10% of the 3,000 largest U.S. stocks’ daily trading value.
  • About 15% of retail investors started in 2020.
  • 95% of retail investors live outside of major financial centers and earn average wages.
  • Retail investors now account for approximately 52% of global assets under management.
  • Retail investors account for nearly 20% of stock market activity in the United States.
  • Retail investors bought stocks worth $76 billion during a three-month period ending on May 24, 2022.
  • Retail investors’ share of total trading volume rose from just above 10% in 2011 to over 22% in 2021.

Sources: (AMF, Yahoo, Coin Telegraph, Reuters, Contrary Research, Investing In The Web, Insider Inc, The Street.)

Retail Theft Statistics: The Key Data

Retail theft is becoming a growing concern for businesses everywhere. By 2025, the costs tied to retail theft might reach a massive $115 billion. Retail theft costs are expected to rise by 32.79% over the next three years.

  • The retail theft cost is expected to increase by 32.79% in next 3 years. 
  • Stores lost an estimated $86.6 billion to retail theft in 2022, with projections indicating that retail theft may cost stores over $115 billion in 2025.
  • Target Stores saw a nearly 120% increase in theft incidents in the first five months of 2023
  • The average theft rose from $937 in 2020 to $1,180 in 2021.
  • Since 2019, major commercial locations have seen 53% more theft of items under $1,000. 
  • The average loss per theft incident is approximately $460.
  • 74.1% of retailers reported increases in external theft from 2016 to 2021.

Sources: Food Institute, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Statista, Capital One Shopping, The Hill)

Organized Retail Crime Statistics: The Key Data

Organized Retail Crime (ORC) is becoming a growing concern, with retailers witnessing an average 26.5% increase in ORC incidents in 2021.  The crime wave led to a substantial $94 billion in inventory loss in 2022, and a worrying 75.9% of retailers have reported employee assault. 

  • Organized retail crime has caused $125.7 billion in lost economic activity and a loss of 658,375 jobs.
  • Organized retail crime accounts for 1.47% of retailer sales.
  • ORC caused $94 billion in inventory loss in 2022, and 75.9% of retailers reported employee assault.
  • 56% of small retailers reported theft in 2021.
  • The average theft case value was $1180 in 2021.
  • In 2021, retailers saw an average 26.5% increase in ORC incidents.
  • 8 out of 10 retailers reported more violence and aggression last year.
  • 34% of organized retail thefts are designer clothes.
  • Organized retail crime lost an average of $719,548 for every $1 billion in sales.
  • Organized retail crime has cost the federal, state, and local governments $14.9 billion in lost taxes.

Sources: (Ri Last Age Media, NRF, ICSC, Washington Examiner, Statista, Investors, US Chamber, Legal Jobs, USA Today, Loss Prevention Media.)

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