Global retail sales to fall 9.6% in 2020: Forrester

FILE PHOTO: People ride up an escalator at a shopping mall in Singapore June 17, 2017. Picture taken June 17, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White

BERLIN (Reuters) - Global retail sales will fall by an average of 9.6% in 2020 because of the coronavirus crisis, representing a loss of $2.1 trillion, research firm Forrester said on Thursday, predicting that it will take four years to recover to pre-pandemic levels.

“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,” said Forrester analyst Michael O’Grady.

Forrester predicted that non-grocery sales from stores will fall 20% in 2020, for a loss of $360 billion from the company’s pre-coronavirus forecasts for growth, with online sales remaining flat.

The crisis will speed the shift to e-commerce, it said. By 2024 Forrester expects a third of non-grocery spending to be online and grocery retailing to have more than doubled its online share.

Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by David Goodman