Companies in this sector sell a wide range of products to consumers and businesses, from food and apparel to hardware, household goods, and office supplies. Major companies include Costco, Kroger, and Walmart (all based in the US), as well as Aldi (Germany), Carrefour (France), Schwarz (Germany) and Tesco (UK).
The internet and increasing consumer connectivity are transforming the retail sector, with physical stores losing market share to online operators. Even segments once assumed to be relatively safe from online competition, such as grocery and auto parts retail, are facing increasing competition from e-tailers (especially Amazon) and reimagining their businesses in response. In 2017, total US e-commerce sales were estimated at $453.5 billion (8.9% of total retail sales), an increase of 16% from 2016. E-commerce is expected to grow to 17% of US retail sales by 2022, according to Forrester.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major components of the retail sector include sellers of motor vehicles (15% of overall retail sales), food and beverages (15%), drugs and cosmetics (11%), automotive fuels (11%), and women's apparel (4%).