By Phil Vinter
PUBLISHED: 20:08 EST, 3 April 2012 | UPDATED: 03:54 EST, 4 April 2012
China has finally overtaken America to become the biggest shopping nation on the planet, according to new retail figures.
The retail bug has also caught on in other emerging consumer countries such as Russia, India and Brazil, who are set to overtake Europe’s powerhouses.
But Britain is also set to overtake Germany in the table of the world’s highest spending shoppers, analysts predict.
The tables from industry experts IGD show just how the old world order is changing.
The stats cover ‘everyday shopping’ in retailers like supermarkets, grocers, DIY stores, open air markets, cash and carry warehouses, clothes shops and pharmacists.
It does not cover luxury items or bigger purchases such as cars or property.
This year, for the first time ever, China has overtaken the USA and the gap between the two will continue to grow over the next few years.
China’s everyday retail spending is rising by around 11 per cent a year to stand at £607 billion for 2011.
America’s consumer boom is slowing down to around 4 per cent a year and so, for 2011, only reached £572 billion.
At predicted rates of growth, China’s market is set to be worth a massive £918 billion by the end of 2015 and America just £675 billion.
Japan, currently the third biggest market, is set to be overtaken by Brazil, Russia and India who, with China, make up what is known as the BRIC economies.
However, the UK, currently the 9th biggest in the table at £143bn, will grow by around 3.2 per cent a year and by 2015 will have overtaken Germany in the table.
This is partly to do with Britain’s enthusiasm for online shopping and take up of new technology like smartphones and tablet computers.
GD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch said: “China’s grocery growth story is phenomenal.
‘Between 2006 and 2015, the Chinese grocery market is forecast to triple in value and to be worth nearly a trillion pounds.
‘This rapid expansion has been fuelled by three main factors: rapid economic growth, population and rising food inflation.’
And it may not be bad news for British companies as they will hope to be able to cash in on China’s massive new spending power.
Chains like Tesco and Sainsbury’s with all their experience in providing big stores with wide ranges of good could try and expand into emerging economies.
By 2025 China will have more than 200 cities with populations of a million or more.