Thank you, Vittorio, very much. And Mr. Natuzzi. Good morning and good afternoon to everyone in the US and around the world. It's a pleasure to be with you today.
I think as many of you know, I joined our passionate team about 18 months ago. I spent the last 25 years helping home furnishings companies build and rebuild their businesses. And before I share maybe more recent and relevant results, I just thought it would be helpful to maybe give you some perspective and context. Again, I joined in Q4 of 2019 and I really spent that quarter listening, learning, and mining, for opportunities, right, kind of going to school on the situation, if you will.
The other thing I really want to do, when I first joined with was, the set a new cultural tone in the region and I really have focused my time culturally on six things. One, for us to be curious in the region, study hard, think rationally, to architect a competitive and compelling vision for who we want to be and how we will compete. Three, build a formidable team for recapture the soul and spirit of the Natuzzi brand in our region. Five, focus on fewer bigger ideas. And six, but maybe most importantly, play to win.
I think in many ways in our region we had been too comfortable losing, and we have recommitted ourselves to playing to win. In the first quarter of 2020, my second quarter, we spent all of our time and energy rebuilding and reorganizing the leadership team, marketing, merchandising, wholesale sales, retail stores, and store development. And then of course very quickly in Q2, we experienced a very hard shut down and with no e-commerce and no real way to sell digitally, the shut down for us was much harder than a may be one of our other US retail competitors. Immediately furloughs, salary cuts and maybe more importantly time to think.
I think in retrospect, maybe this time to think was a blessing for our team.
We are -- on dozens of video calls, essentially laying the groundwork for our turnaround, spent hours and hours on talent merchandising stocking programs, marketing, and store growth strategies. That kind of takes us to Q4 and maybe and even this quarter of Q1, I'll share a few results, all of them will be in US dollars, because that's what I live in. All focused on order flow not net sales, just for clarity sake. Today, our -- and year-to-date our region represents about a third of the company's business.
As most of you know, we have about 20 retail stores in the region, across both brands and both company owned and independently owned. My comments will focus on the 13 Natuzzi Italia stores, we operate ourselves.
So in Q4, after a few months of being open, we really began to see signs of increased momentum in both the wholesale and the retail channel. Order flow for the branded wholesale side of our business was up 39% in the fourth quarter. And our Natuzzi Italia retail stores, those 13 I mentioned, were up 28% over last year.
So, we ended the fourth quarter very pleased with ourselves and what surprised us honestly was -- what began to happen in the first quarter and our further momentum really has been confirmed. Branded wholesale growth -- grew 67%, although not completely fairly comparable, it gives you some indication of an accelerated pace of growth and at least continued growth. And maybe even more importantly, our 13 retail stores grew 124% over the prior year, again not completely fairly comparable, based on last year's lockdown.
So you get a general sense that our growth is accelerating, not in decline right now. And maybe even more even more helpful, in our retail stores, our Q1 '21 volumes grew 29% over Q4.
So our sequential growth quarter-over-quarter grew 29% in our retail group which we're incredibly proud of. When we kind of -- when I look into our history for our retail group in 2018 and 2019, our best five to seven stores were averaging about $2.5 million. Today as we sit here in Q1, if we annualize our Q1 volumes, our best stores are pacing at $4 million. We, as I mentioned before, we have about 20 stores in the region across both brands and company and independently owned. We're working on opening six to seven new stores across both brands and all types of ownership this year and we are working very closely with our HQ partners to get e-commerce live in the back half of 2021 in the United States. It will take time to be financially significant but it's still an important and symbolic advancement for our group to be able to begin to sell online and have stronger digital tools at our fingertips. I'm sure many of you have questions kind of about our multi-year growth plans and growth strategies and we're really not prepared to answer those on this call, but we are looking forward to sharing those in probably a more purposeful communication later this year. And with that, thank you again for allowing me to join you guys today.