Total Spending to Reach $31.4 Billion,
Exceeds Pre-COVID Figures

(COLUMBUS – November 23, 2021) The Ohio Council of Retail Merchants’ research affiliate,
Focus on Ohio’s Future, and the University of Cincinnati Economics Center today forecast
robust holiday retail sales for Ohio this year, with expected total sales of $31.4 billion, a 7.3 per
cent increase over last year’s holiday season sales of $29.3 billion.

“We expect the 2021 holiday sales to grow a robust 7.3 per cent over last year,” said University
of Cincinnati Economics Center co-director Christopher Nicak, “in part because of the 4.0 per
cent increase in wages and salaries over 2020, growing from $309.9 billion in Q1 2020 to
$322.2 billion in Q2 2021.

“It’s also interesting to note that 2020 sales showed a strong rebound in the third and fourth
quarters over the minimal growth in the first half of the year and 2019’s results of $27.5 billion in
the first COVID-impacted holiday sales season.”

“This analysis affirms the continued resilience of Ohio’s retail industry and reflects Ohio’s
improving consumer confidence,” said Gordon Gough, President / CEO of the Ohio Council of
Retail Merchants.

“These numbers also show the strength of Ohio retailers’ successful omni-channel strategy of
offering both online and brick and mortar options to their customers,” Gough continued, “with

accelerated growth in non-store retail sales, which includes online and mobile shipping,
exceeding overall retail sales growth in 2020 compared to 2019.”

“The holiday sales growth is not confined to select areas of the state,” added Focus On Ohio’s
Future’s Executive Director John McGough, “as none of the nine local Ohio markets studied
showed a decline in sales, they either had substantial growth or sustained previous levels of


Metro Area 2020 Sales 2021 Forecast Change from 2020 Share of State 2021

(Retail Sales Forecast in Millions)

“Overall, this sales forecast shows Ohio’s economy is clearly on the rebound, and we are well
on our way to full recovery from the economic impact of COVID-19,” Gough concluded.

Founded in 1922, the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants is Ohio’s oldest and largest advocate for
the retail industry, representing more than 7,000 retailers across the state. Ohio’s retail industry
accounts for 18 per cent of Ohio’s Total GDP and supports 1.5 million jobs, 1 in 4 of all Ohio
jobs, more than any other industry.

The full report is available online at and
via Twitter @FocusOnOhio.