Global Overview of the Wholesale and Retail Industry

August 2022

The briefing examines how retail and wholesale industry performs globally and in the largest countries in terms of retail and wholesale output. The report also provides data for production, imports, exports, industry’s costs, industry’s profitability and number of companies. The industry and market overview provide benchmarks against other countries in the region.

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Examining Four Trends Shaping the Retail and Wholesale Industry

E-commerce

The heightened importance of e-commerce, which growth was fuelled during the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to continue. Habits formed during the lockdown period, changed consumer behaviour and a digital pivot among retailers are set to be the key drivers.

Sustainability and brand image

Sustainability is set to define retailing’s future as more consumers become wary of their impact on the environment, but also expect a more premium and customised service when shopping online and offline. As a result, sustainable operations and brand image are expected to become particularly important. This includes sustainable product strategy, production and material sourcing, supply chain management as well as proper messaging of brands’ environmental friendliness.

Technology and automation

With the e-commerce channel growing in popularity, technology and innovation is expected to gain more importance as well. This trend is expected to lead to decreasing dependence on traditional labour force, warehouse automation and robotisation as well as better and more efficient inventory management.

Analytics and personalisation

As with technology, the rise of e-commerce creates opportunities for retailers in the area of analytics and personalisation. Thanks to big data collection and analytics, retailers will be able to create better tailored offers to individual needs, this way increasing customer trust and loyalty.

Introduction

Scope
Examining four trends shaping the retail and wholesale industry
Key trends impacting the industry in 2022

Global overview

Retail and wholesale to record slower growth amid persisting disruptions
After swift recovery in 2021, growth is set to stabilise
China and the US continue to dominate global industry
Cost increases are expected to be passed on to consumers
Rising energy and food prices pressure retail and wholesale industry
Inflation breaks record heights in 2022

Leading companies

Amazon strengthen its position within the industry, while Walmart remains the leader
Global economic challenges result in declining number of companies in many countries
Australia and Spain continues to have the highest concentration within the industry

Global outlook

China, the US and emerging economies to lead the industry’s future growth
Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe forecast to record among the fastest growth rates
Key future trends shaping the global industry

Country snapshots

USA: Strong rebound in consumer demand helped to achieve full recovery over the year
Gradual industry’s growth is expected, yet inflation and understaffing pose future challenges
China: Zero-COVID policy may impede faster industry growth in the near term
Demand for low-price products to support growth of Chinese wholesale
Japan: A mong the slowest growth rates compared to other top countries
Retail to drive the industry’s expansion, yet workforce shortages threaten growth
Germany: Growth to be challenged by rapidly rising costs
Recovery in retailing and sale, maintenance and repair of motor vehicles to support growth
India: Industry to witness strong growth over the forecast period
Wholesale to drive the industry’s expansion
France: Subdued near-term growth amid rising inflation and soaring energy prices
Retail to lead the industry’s growth over the forecast period
UK: Industry’s gradual growth to be supported by strong wholesale performance
E-commerce will continue to shape the UK retailing landscape
Italy: Slower post-pandemic recovery results in subdued growth prospects
Italian retail to be shaped by sustainable practices
Russia: Sharp contraction following Russian invasion of Ukraine
Extensive sanctions and economic downturn to drag down the industry’s future growth
Canada: Growth in turnover to be strong, exceeding pre-pandemic levels
Sale, maintenance and repair of motor vehicles to lead growth
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