Retail Industry Report: 2024 Industry Data & Insights

How are retail businesses handling inflation while trying to simultaneously trying to implement and scale emerging innovations? In this report, you will explore key industry data, emerging trends, and five innovative companies impacting the retail sector.

The 2024 Retail Industry Report unveils a landscape of resilience, highlighting an era of unprecedented technological integration and consumer-driven change. It scrutinizes the impact of digital innovation, where artificial intelligence and data analytics redefine customer experiences and operational efficiencies. With a keen eye on sustainability, the report explores how eco-conscious practices are becoming non-negotiable for retailers worldwide. Amidst global challenges, the industry’s adaptability emerges, showcasing growth opportunities in e-commerce and the reimagining of brick-and-mortar stores.

This retail industry outlook serves as a reference for stakeholders, investors, policymakers, and economic analysts in the industry, providing a snapshot of the industry’s health to map its trajectory for innovation and growth in the coming years.

StartUs Insights Retail Industry Report 2024

Executive Summary: Retail Sector Outlook 2024

This report is created using data obtained from the Big Data and AI-powered StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering more than 4.7 million global companies, as well as 20K+ technologies and emerging trends. We also analyzed a sample of 4000+ retail startups developing innovative solutions to present five examples from emerging retail industry trends.

  • Industry Growth: Despite a slight 0.8% decline, the retail industry maintains vitality with substantial company engagement, investments, and consumer-driven transformations.
  • Manpower & Employment Growth: The sector employs 29 million individuals globally, having welcomed 1.5 million new employees last year.
  • Patents & Grants: Retail innovators collectively hold over 54500 patents and have secured more than 2040 grants, demonstrating the industry’s commitment to innovation and research.
  • Global Footprint: The report identifies the USA, UK, India, Canada, and Australia as top country hubs, with cities like New York City, London, Sydney, Melbourne, and Dubai as central hubs for retail innovation.
  • Investment Landscape: There is a dynamic investment environment with over 62,000 funding rounds closed and an average investment value of USD 48 million per round, signaling a robust financial landscape.
  • Top Investors: Leading investors include Tiger Global Management, SoftBank Vision Fund, GIC, Alibaba Group, and others, who collectively infused over USD 35 billion into the sector.
  • Startup Ecosystem: Five innovative startups, Dtek (Automated Checkout), Autone (Inventory Management), ComeBy (Retail Analytics), Kamino Retail (Retail Media Monetization), and Skyu (On-demand Labor App), exemplify the sector’s reach and entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Recommendations for Stakeholders: Stakeholders should harness the potential of AI, data analytics, and sustainable practices to navigate the retail ecosystem successfully and seize emerging growth opportunities. Consumer spending is predicted to increase worldwide as more economies start growing, especially in emerging markets.

The resilience and agility shown by the retail sector promise a future where retail not only thrives but also sets a new benchmark in global business transformation.

Explore the Data-driven Retail Industry Report for 2024

The 2024 Retail Industry Report uses data from the Discovery Platform and encapsulates the key metrics that underline the sector’s dynamic growth and innovation. The report presents a comprehensive overview of the sector’s landscape, revealing a slight decline of 0.8% in industry growth over the last year. Despite this downturn, the retail space exhibits vitality, with an impressive roster of 245000+ companies documented in the database. Further, the industry is witnessing a significant workforce expansion, with employee numbers swelling by 1.5 million in the previous year. This highlights an upward trend in employment opportunities within the sector.

Retail Industry Report 2024 | StartUs Insights


Innovation remains a cornerstone of retail, as showcased by the diversity of startups from all global regions. These startups are at the vanguard of retail transformation, holding over 54500 patents collectively, a testament to their commitment to innovation and advancement. They have also secured upwards of 2040 grants, underscoring the confidence of investors and institutions in their potential.

The report also pinpoints the USA, UK, India, Canada, and Australia as leading country hubs for retail innovation. Meanwhile, metropolitan powerhouses like New York City, London, Sydney, Melbourne, and Dubai are identified as the top city hubs, reflecting their strategic importance as centers for retail development and commercial exchange.

What data is used to create this retail report?

Based on the data provided by our Discovery Platform, we observe that the retail industry ranks among the top 5% in the following categories relative to all 20K topics in our database. These categories provide a comprehensive overview of the industry’s key metrics and inform the short-term future direction of the industry.

  • News Coverage & Publications: the retail industry has been featured in more than 500000 news publications.
  • Funding Rounds: the database contains data on over 62000 funding rounds within the retail sector.
  • Manpower: the retail workforce exceeds 29 million, with over 1.5 million new hires last year.
  • Patents: retail industry innovators hold upwards of 54500 patents.
  • Grants: the retail industry has received over 2000 grants.

A Snapshot of the Global Retail Industry

In the retail industry, the strength of its manpower stands as a testament to its substantial impact on the global economy. Currently employing 29 million individuals, the sector underscores its role as a major employer. This past year has seen a further influx of talent, with 1.5 million new employees joining the workforce. This indicates robust growth and expanding job opportunities.

With over 245000 companies operating within this dynamic field, the retail industry not only fuels consumer markets but also serves as a pivotal driver of job creation and innovation, marking its vital role in today’s business landscape.

Explore the Funding Landscape of the Retail Industry

The latest retail industry report suggests robust investment activity, underlining the sector’s dynamic financial landscape. With an average investment value of USD 48 million per round, the industry is thriving while also demonstrating significant investor confidence. This level of investment is spread across a substantial number of stakeholders, with over 18000 investors engaging with the retail space.

Moreover, the vitality of the sector is further evidenced by the closure of more than 62000 funding rounds, reflecting a vibrant environment for startups and established companies alike to secure essential capital. These rounds have extended across a diverse array of more than 23000 companies, indicating a healthy distribution of funds and an appetite for supporting a wide range of retail enterprises.

The data suggests a strong backing for innovation and growth within the retail industry, showcasing the commitment of investors to the sector’s expansion. With substantial investments and a broad investor base, the retail market continues to offer fertile ground for both emerging and established companies to flourish.



Who is Investing in Retail Companies?

The retail industry has witnessed a significant influx of capital, with top investors contributing over USD 35 billion, highlighting the sector’s growth potential and investment appeal.

  • Tiger Global Management leads with USD 5.4 billion invested across 80 companies.
  • SoftBank Vision Fund follows, injecting USD 4.8 billion into 31 companies.
  • GIC has committed USD 4.6 billion to 27 companies, underscoring their strategic investment choices.
  • General Atlantic’s investments amount to USD 3.8 billion across 37 companies, showcasing their broad focus.
  • Goldman Sachs has spread USD 3.4 billion among 57 companies, balancing quantity with substantial capital allocations.
  • Insight Partners mirrors Goldman Sachs in investment value at USD 3.4 billion and focuses on 50 companies.
  • Warburg Pincus has invested USD 3.3 billion in 30 companies, demonstrating selective yet substantial funding.
  • Alibaba Group, with investments totaling USD 3.1 billion in 23 companies, illustrates their strategic investments in the retail space.

This data indicates the depth of financial support available in the retail industry and also the broad range of companies that top-tier investors are willing to back. From startups to well-established enterprises, investor confidence indicates a healthy, diverse, and vibrant retail ecosystem.

The visual below delineates the top emerging trends within the retail sector over the past year. It emphasizes that Data Analytics and Risk Management are the most prominent trends, with Data Analytics leading in mentions at 119.5K and companies involved reaching 94.8K. Risk Management follows closely with 75.3K mentions among 90.1K companies.

Retail Industry Report 2024 | StartUs Insights


These two sectors significantly outpace others, indicating a pivotal focus on leveraging data for strategic decision-making and mitigating potential threats. The image captures the critical importance placed on these areas by the retail industry, reflecting the shift towards data-driven and risk-conscious business models in today’s retail landscape.

Explore Firmographic Data for All Retail Industry Trends

The top trends in the retail industry include, among others, the increasing application of AI and analytics-driven management solutions. Book a demo to explore all trends in more detail.

  • Retail AI is transforming the shopping experience with 817 companies working in this innovation space. It employs 7.6 million individuals, having welcomed 1 million new employees within the last year alone. The annual trend growth rate stands at 17.25%, indicating robust sectoral health. It also signals an increasing reliance on technology to tailor customer experiences, optimize supply chains, and enhance operational efficiency.
  • Retail Inventory Management, with over 11000 companies participating, underscores its foundational role in the retail industry. This sector employs 650000 people and has added 60000 in the last year, reflecting steady growth. Although the annual trend growth rate is modest at 0.45%, the sector’s importance continues to grow as pressures on product availability and customer satisfaction increase.
  • Data Analytics in retail boasts participation from within 90000 companies, showcasing its critical importance in driving strategic decisions. Employing 6 million individuals with an addition of 631000 new employees in the past year, it illustrates a vibrant expansion with an annual trend growth rate of 4.94%. This indicates a willingness to understand customer behaviors and market trends to optimize retail operations.

5 Top Examples from 4000+ Innovative Retail Startups

The five innovative startups showcased below are picked based on data including the trend they operate within and their relevance, founding year, funding status, and more. Book a platform demo to find promising startups, emerging trends, or industry data specific to your company’s needs and objectives.

Dtek enables Automated Self-Checkout

UAE-based startup Dtek offers new retail experiences through its AI-powered self-checkout solutions. Its platform, SWIFT, integrates AI, computer vision, and data analytics to transform checkout processes and provide valuable insights. By addressing common retail challenges like crowded checkouts and inventory management, SWIFT improves in-store efficiency. This technology supports high-speed transactions and accommodates multiple items simultaneously, boosting throughput and customer satisfaction. Retailers further benefit from integration with existing POS systems and diverse payment options.

autone streamlines Retail Inventory Management

UK-based startup Autone simplifies inventory management for retail businesses by offering an AI-powered platform. This platform provides comprehensive analysis, forecasting, and actionable recommendations to optimize inventory levels. With Autone, users navigate through market trends, seasonal shifts, and buyer behaviors with precision. The technology helps businesses make informed decisions by highlighting mismatches and assessing product potential. Autone also combines AI insights with expert intuition to guide purchasing and inventory strategies. The platform reduces stockouts, automates routine tasks, and boosts sales through strategic inventory management.

ComeBy provides Retail Analytics

Malaysian startup ComeBy offers technology solutions to enhance the retail experience through data-driven insights. Its platform analyzes customer behavior, providing actionable intelligence for store optimization. Engage, its key product, serves as a personalized shopping assistant, enhancing customer engagement. Traffic analysis tools within the platform further help retailers understand in-store movements and preferences. The platform supports various retail sectors, from small businesses and supermarkets to home goods and electronics stores, and more. ComeBy’s solutions transform retail environments into data-enabled, customer-centric spaces.

Kamino Retail builds a Retail Media Monetization Platform

Kamino Retail is a French startup that develops a platform tailored for retailers to maximize their retail media monetization strategies. This platform offers a suite of solutions, including innovative advertising units, precise targeting mechanisms, detailed reporting tools, streamlined workflows, and simple integration options, along with API connectivity. The startup enhances retailers’ autonomy and agility in the retail media domain, enabling them to capitalize on digital properties. By optimizing retail media, trade marketing, and self-promotion programs, Kamino Retail assists retailers in boosting their digital property value and customer engagement.

Skyu offers an On-demand Labor App

Skyu offers a platform connecting retail brands with on-demand labor for various in-store tasks. Users access the platform via a mobile application, selecting and executing tasks like merchandising or mystery shopping. Merchandisers also engage in activities such as arranging product displays and organizing shelves to enhance shopping experiences. Mystery shoppers further provide anonymous feedback on retail environments, contributing to store layout and product placement improvements. Altogether, the app facilitates task selection, instruction adherence, and submission of work verification. Skyu’s solution targets efficiency and flexibility in retail operations and workforce management.

Looking for Comprehensive Insights into Retail Trends, Startups, or Technologies?

The retail industry’s embrace of cutting-edge technologies has ushered in a new era of consumer engagement and operational excellence. Despite facing economic headwinds, retailers are innovating at an impressive pace, focusing on customer-centric approaches and green practices. The resilience demonstrated by the sector points to a future where retail leads in global business transformation. The path forward suggests robust growth and exciting new business opportunities. Book a platform demo to explore all 4000+ startups and scaleups, as well as all industry trends impacting retail companies.

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