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Report: Global Retail Shows Steady Growth for 2014

An improved retail climate in Western Europe and robust online shopping gave the global retailing industry a much-needed booster shot. Market research firm Euromonitor International recently released data on the industry showing a steady growth of 5.3% in 2014.

Western Europe registered its largest retail increase since 2008, while Eastern Europe experienced its biggest slowdown with 6 percent growth due to the conflict in Ukraine and economic sanctions on Russia, according to the report. Latin America, the Middle East and Africa were the most dynamic regions with increases over 12 percent in sales. In particular, Nigeria is expected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.9% to 2016, thanks in part to a booming middle class and overall increase in disposable income.

Still, Euromonitor reported that China, starting in 2014 through to 2019, is set to generate a third of new global retail sales in the world.

Among the other key findings from the research was confirmation that apparel and footwear lead online purchases. The two categories were named the most popular products sold online and are expected to generate over $360 billion by 2019. In fact, online retailing is set to generate a third of all new retail sales, driven by strong growth in both emerging and developed markets.

Euromonitor International forecasts mobile internet retailing will account for 32 percent of internet retailing sales compared to 18 percent in 2014. Internet retailing is expected to increase by 15 percent CAGR to reach $1.7 trillion by 2019, making multichannel operations key for all retailers looking for growth.

On the retail front, Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Seven and I remain the top three global retailers, while embattled Tesco lost its fourth place market share to German retail group Schwarz Beteiligungs. Amazon and Alibaba were the only online retailers named in the top 15 global retail rankings.