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US Retail Sales Databank

Coresight Research’s US Retail Sales Databank brings together retail sales data to help you understand the scale and trajectory of US retail. Our Databank provides easy access to retail sales in total and by sector, by year and by month, in dollar terms and in year-over-year growth.

We chart annual retail sales and year-over-year percentage changes for the following retail sectors. Descriptions for these sectors are provided after the charts.

Note: Data on this page are based on non seasonally adjusted data published by the US Census Bureau.

Monthly Retail Sales

In the US Census Bureau’s first retail sales report for 2021, it reported that US retail sales growth accelerated to 10.8% year over year as stimulus checks boosted consumer spending.

Nonstore retailers saw the strongest growth in January, of 22.1% year over year—even stronger than the sector’s revised 19.0% growth in December. Three other sectors saw double-digit year-over-year sales growth: home improvement (13.7%), food and beverage stores (11.6%), and sporting goods hobby, musical instruments and book stores (22.0%). The apparel sector was the hardest hit in January, experiencing a sales decline of 11.3% year over year.

Source: US Census Bureau/Coresight Research

US Retail Sales, by Sector: Latest 13 Months (USD Bil.)

Grocery retailers are a subset of food and beverage retailers. Department store retailers are a subset of general merchandise retailers.
Source: US Census Bureau/Coresight Research

US Retail Sales, by Sector: Latest 13 Months (YoY % Change)

Data are not seasonally adjusted. Grocery retailers are a subset of food and beverage retailers. Department store retailers are a subset of general merchandise retailers
Source: US Census Bureau/Coresight Research

US Retail Sales (Annual)

In 2020, total US retail sales grew 6.8% to $3,966.5 billion. This measure of retail sales excludes sales by food-service businesses, gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers.

Source: US Census Bureau/Coresight Research

Breakdown of Retail Sales By Sector

In 2020, nonstore retailers constituted 24.4% of total retail sales, while food and beverage retailers accounted for 21.5%.

Source: US Census Bureau/Coresight Research

Food and Beverage Retailers

In 2020, food and beverage retailers’ sales grew 11.5% to $853.3 billion.

Source: US Census Bureau/Coresight Research

Grocery Retailers

In 2020, grocery retailers’ sales grew 11.3% to $759.7 billion.

Source: US Census Bureau/Coresight Research

General Merchandise Retailers

In 2020, general merchandise retailers’ sales grew 2.6% to $732.2 billion.

Source: US Census Bureau/Coresight Research

Department Store Retailers

In 2020, department store retailers’ sales declined by 18.1% to $110.5 billion.

Source: US Census Bureau/Coresight Research

Clothing, Footwear and Accessories Retailers

In 2020, clothing, footwear and accessories retailers’ sales fell by 26.5% to $196.1 billion.

Source: US Census Bureau/Coresight Research

Home-Improvement and Gardening Retailers

In 2020, home-improvement and gardening retailers’ sales grew 13.8% to $437.8 billion.

Source: US Census Bureau/Coresight Research

Health and Personal Care Retailers

In 2020, health and personal care retailers’ sales grew 1.7% to $364.7 billion.

Source: US Census Bureau/Coresight Research

Furniture and Home-Furnishing Retailers

In 2020, furniture and home-furnishing retailers’ sales fell by 5.3% to $111.5 billion.

Source: US Census Bureau/Coresight Research

Electronics and Appliance Retailers

In 2020, electronics and appliance retailers’ sales fell by 14.3% to $83.2 billion.

Source: US Census Bureau/Coresight Research

Sporting Goods, Hobby, Musical Instrument and Book Retailers

In 2020, sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and book retailers’ sales rose by 5.5% to $84.3 billion.

Source: US Census Bureau/Coresight Research

Miscellaneous Retailers

In 2020, miscellaneous retailers’ sales fell by 0.7% to $133.6 billion.

Source: US Census Bureau/Coresight Research

Nonstore Retailers

In 2020, nonstore retailers’ sales grew 21.9% to $969.4 billion.

Source: US Census Bureau/Coresight Research

Below, we provide the Census Bureau’s descriptions of the retail sectors that we cover, in brief.

Furniture and home-furnishing retailers: Retailers that sell furniture, home furnishings, floor coverings and major home appliances and electronics. Some may offer interior decorating services along with the sale of products.

Electronics and appliance retailers: Retailers that sell household and consumer electronics, such as household appliances, home entertainment systems, computers, computer peripherals, mobile phones, gaming consoles and others.

Home-improvement and gardening retailers: Retailers that sell home-improvement and garden equipment and supplies.

Food and beverage retailers: Retailers that sell fresh and processed food, such as supermarkets, convenience stores, specialty food stores, markets (for meat, fish, fruit and vegetables), baked goods stores, confectionery stores and liquor stores.

Grocery retailers: A subsector of food and beverage retailers that includes supermarkets and convenience stores, which retail general lines of food.

Health and personal care retailers: Retailers that primarily sell personal care products, beauty products, medicines, supplements and optical goods. Drugstore retailers and pharmacies, beauty shops and perfume retailers are part of this sector.

Sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and book retailers: Retailers that sell sporting equipment (including fitness equipment, camping gear, bicycles, athletic uniforms and specialty sports footwear), toys, games, musical instruments, hobby and craft supplies, and books.

Clothing, footwear and accessories retailers: Retailers that sell women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, accessories (such as hats, gloves, handbags, ties and belts), footwear, jewelry, and luggage and leather goods.

General merchandise retailers: Retailers that sell many lines of products. Department stores, discount department stores, warehouse clubs, supercenters and variety stores fall within this sector.

Department stores: A subsector of general merchandise retailers. Retailers within this group sell a wide range of products, including apparel, footwear, appliances, home furnishings, jewelry, toys and beauty products.

Miscellaneous retailers: Retailers include florists; office supplies and stationery retailers; gift and novelty retailers; used-merchandise retailers; pet and pet supplies retailers; art dealers; mobile home dealers; and tobacco retailers.

Nonstore retailers: Retailers include electronic shopping and mail order houses, vending-machine operators, direct-selling businesses and fuel dealers, among other direct-selling businesses such as in-home retailers and those that sell from a truck or wagon. This sector also includes online sales from some store-based retailers that separate this business from their store-based operations.

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