totaled an estimated
$6.22 trillion (on a broad basis) during 2020, according to the U.S.
(Sales at stores selling general
merchandise, apparel, furniture and specialty items, referred to as “GAFO,”
totaled $1.24 trillion in 2020.
an important distinction.
retail sales of all types are considered to include automobiles, gasoline and
Unfortunately, retailing was one of the industries
hardest hit by the global Coronavirus pandemic.
Customer traffic plummeted at most categories of retail stores that sell
non-essential items such as fashion and jewelry.
Nonetheless, a few categories saw soaring
In the U.S., for
example, sales boomed at supermarkets, discount department stores such as
Walmart and home improvement centers such as Home Depot.
Consumer interests, needs and shopping habits
internet access shifted much of their shopping to online methods.
Households where people were lucky enough to
keep their jobs and had money to spend were investing in goods that made
working from home easier and sheltering at home more entertaining.
Meanwhile ecommerce sales soared.
Much of this market share that has moved to
ecommerce is a permanent shift.
further discussion, see “The Coronavirus' Effect on the Retail Industry.”
Competition among retailers has been fierce in
recent years, and it will only grow more intense in the near future.
A massive shakeout of retail stores is
underway as part of a retail restructuring—slower traffic at malls