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NRF Expects Online Sales Growth in 20% Range in 2021

National Retail Federation
NRF Expects Online Sales Growth in 20% Range in 2021

The National Retail Federation expects online sales to grow between 18% – 23% in 2021 to between $1.14 trillion and $1.19 trillion.

The trade group, referred to as NRF, anticipates total retail sales (including ecommerce) to grow between 6.5% – 8.2% to more than $4.33 trillion in 2021 as more individuals get vaccinated and the economy reopens.

The NRF said early results indicate retail sales in 2020 grew 6.7% over 2019 to $4.06 trillion, nearly doubling its forecast of at least 3.5% growth, which did not account for the impact of a global pandemic.

That figure compares with 3.9% growth in 2019.

It stated in Wednesday’s press release: “The 2020 November-December holiday season accounted for nearly one-fifth (19.4 percent) of overall annual retail sales. Retail sales during this period grew an unexpectedly high 8 percent to $787.1 billion. Non-store and other online sales represented $206.9 billion of total holiday sales, up 22.6 percent over the year before.”

NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said, “The trajectory of the economy is predicated on the effectiveness of the vaccine and its distribution. Our principal assumption is that that the vaccination will be effective and permits accelerated growth during the mid-year. The economy is expected to see its fastest growth in over two decades.”

Interestingly, the trade group pointed out that households are becoming attached to the convenience and product selection of buying online.

See the full press release on the NRF.com website.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.