Forrester: Retail Will See A $2.1 Trillion Loss Globally In 2020 Due To Coronavirus Pandemic

Press Release from Forrester Research , Inc.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Forrester today predicts that due to Coronavirus, global retail sales in 2020 will decline by an average of 9.6 percent globally, a loss of $2.1 trillion. Forrester also predicts that it will take four years for retailers to overtake pre-pandemic levels.

According to Forrester's updated retail forecasts across North America, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, the impact of Coronavirus on retail sales will vary worldwide given the regional differences and considering that each country is at a different stage of the pandemic.

Key findings include:


    • Non-grocery offline sales will see a 20 percent growth contraction in 2020, and sales could decline by as much as $2.3 trillion globally.
    • Retailers will continue to face growth constraints with many brick and mortar retailers predicting losses in 2020 and assuming that their growth in online sales will not be enough to offset the lost sales from store closures.

North America

    • In the U.S., retail sales will fall by $320 billion in 2020, a decline of 9.1 percent from 2019.
    • In Canada, similar losses are expected, with total retail spending expected to decline by $24.0 billion in 2020, representing a 7.7 percent drop from 2019.


    • Retail sales will lose €260 billion across the EU-5 (UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy) in 2020, a decline of 10.4 percent from 2019.
    • In the UK, total retail will fall by £57 billion in 2020, a decline of 11.4 percent from 2019. In France, total retail will fall by €56 billion in 2020, a decline of 9.5 percent from 2019. In Germany, total retail will fall by €60 billion in 2020, a decline of 10 percent from 2019.


    • In APAC, the loss of sales is predicted to reach $658 billion in 2020, a decline of 14.7 percent from 2019.
    • China is the worst effected country in the region with $192 billion of retail sales lost in Q1 Jan-Feb 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.


    • Retail sales will decline 6.8 percent for 2020 in LATAM.

"COVID-19 is significantly impacting the global retail landscape," said Michael O'Grady, principal forecast analyst at Forrester. "Retail categories like grocery and essential consumables are performing well, while other categories like fashion, beauty and cosmetics are seeing a marked decline in consumer spend. In 2020, there will be a significant decline in global retail sales, particularly with non-essential items sold offline, which will be a big challenge for brick and mortar retailers. Online sales, however, will be more resilient. To navigate the crisis, retailers need to manage their costs and drive their eCommerce sales and services as much as possible."


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