Brick-and-mortar helps drive strong global retail spend in 2021

Marianne Wilson
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Total global retail spending grew 9.7% in 2021.

Physical retail made a strong comeback in 2021.

Total retail spending around the world grew 9.7% to $26.031 trillion, according to eMarketer’s Insider Intelligence report. The increase outpaced eMarketer’s earlier forecast of 6.0% growth.

Pent-up demand from in-store shoppers helped drive the increase. In-store sales rebounded by 8.2% last year, to $21.094 trillion, more than was spent in 2019, the report.

By region, total retail sales in North America, the Middle East and Africa rose 15.2% year-over-year. The next biggest increase was in Latin America, where year-0ver-year sales increased 12.2%.

According to eMarketer, brick-and-mortar will grow between 2.6% and 3.4% for the remainder of its forecast, out to 2025. The channel will see more new spending this year than e-commerce ($702.17 billion versus $603.68 billion), despite its slower growth rate.