The retail market will recalibrate next year. In 2020, most retail spending has shifted online, but a new report from Colliers International predicts that online retail sales will decrease 8.5% in 2021, while in-store retail sales will increase 5.9%.

This year, online retail sales jumped more than 36% due to the pandemic, and in-store retail sales declined 3.2%. While Colliers' predictions for 2021 won't offset the massive online shopping growth this year, it is also clear that in-store shopping is not dead. Last year, online shopping accounted for 13.8% of total retail sales. This year, the online portion of the retail market jumped to 18.4%. Colliers forecasts the number will fall to 16.3% in 2021 and steadily increase, hitting 18.3% again in 2023 and 19.9% by 2025.

This year, in-store retail sales actually held up better than expected, growing 2.2% overall. Colliers data forecasts retail sales to grow again next year by 3.2%. Grocery sales led the gains, growing 12.5% this year, followed by the home, electronics and beauty retail segments, which were up 9%, 2.9% and 2.4% respectively. Apparel led in retail losses, down 25.7% for the year. This is likely because consumers bought fewer items for work and social occasions, according to the report.

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.