It is shopping time. Many people, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, participated in Black Friday and Cyber Monday while getting ready for Christmas. For many, the 2021 shopping experience also reflects a return to normality at a time of never-ending waves of COVID-19 infections and lockdowns.
Many large stores are in cities, which reflect two megatrends that are reshaping the global economy: the rise of the global consumer class and urbanization. Both megatrends experienced tipping points in this century. In 2008, the world became majority urban and in 2019, World Data Lab projected that half the world would be middle class or wealthier. By the end of 2021, there will be 4 billion people in the global consumer class, and, in the absence of another major economic crisis, the global consumer class will reach 5.2 billion people by 2030.