Lafayette Parish’s retail sales continued their slide in January, falling more than 9 percent from the comparable month last year. January 2015 was the highest January ever recorded in the parish.
In January 2016, $438 million in goods and services were sold in the parish, representing the 10th consecutive month where sales have been lower than the previous year. Sales for 2015 were 6.3 percent lower than 2014.
Sales are down in all municipalities across the parish — ranging from 2 percent in Carencro to 22 percent in Duson. Sales are also down 28 percent in unincorporated areas of the parish.
Quite surprisingly, the biggest area not hurting appears to be auto sales, which are up a whopping 27 percent in the city of Lafayette. Hit hardest in the city is building materials, which are down 44 percent.
There is some really good news within several of the categories. In the auto category, vehicle dealer sales are up 45 percent, and in general merchandise, farm implement sales are up 54 percent. In the food category, restaurant sales are up almost 10 percent. In apparel, men’s clothing sales are up 50 percent. In home furnishings, hotel/restaurant supply sales increased 164 percent and appliance sales jumped 37 percent.
“Lafayette remains a hub for retail in the region. As stores in the Ambassador Town Center development begin opening in the coming weeks and months, we’ll likely see a big draw of customers from surrounding areas,” says Gregg Gothreaux, president and CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. “Retail sales are a good barometer of consumer confidence and LEDA will continue to monitor these numbers closely.”