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U.S. retail sales to hit nearly $5 trillion in 2015

BY Marianne Wilson

More than a fifth of the world’s retail sales occurred in the United States this year.

That’s according to the latest forecast of retail and e-commerce sales from eMarketer, which estimates that total U.S. retail sales hit $4.8 trillion in 2015 and will approach $5 trillion in value in 2016.

The vast majority of U.S. retail stores still occur in physical stores, according to eMarketer. Retail ecommerce in 2015 accounted for 7.1% of all retail sales in the United States, but the share is growing. By 2019, 9.8% of US retail sales will be transacted over the Internet, eMarketer reported.

In other findings:

• Retail sales in the United States grew 3.3% this year, eMarketer estimates, and growth will pick up slightly next year to 3.5%.

• Despite steady growth of 3%, which puts the United States ahead of Canada’s rate of increase, the country’s retail market will lose share of the worldwide total over eMarketer’s forecast period as the retail sector in developing markets grows more quickly.

• In Western Europe, 7.5% of retail sales were transacted online in 2015. In Asia-Pacific, the share is 10.2%, the highest in the world.

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