Acadiana Business

Lafayette set to shatter 2008 retail sales record

by Leslie Turk

Year-to-date retail sales are up by more than 10 percent, and LEDA's forecasting model shows that pace accelerating slightly through the second half.

Lafayette Parish's June retail sales of more than $500 million reflect a 12 percent increase over June a year ago, and that activity boosts the year-to-date figure to $2.8 billion, 10.1 percent more than the first six months of 2011.

"June retail sales mark only the third time we've seen a $500 million month that was not a December; the previous two times were in March and May of this year," says Gregg Gothreaux, president and CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. "With six months of sales recorded, LEDA's forecasting model shows that we will beat the all-time high of $5.4 billion set in 2008 with total sales approaching the $6 billion mark." If LEDA's model is accurate, Lafayette Parish would best its record by more than 11 percent.

LEDA also notes that hotel/motel receipts continue to outperform 2011 totals. June receipts totaled $6.7 million, pushing the year-to-date total 14.6 percent higher than the first six months of 2011.

So far this year, general merchandise and services are the top performing categories, with increases of 9.8 percent, 9.4 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively, over 2011 numbers. All other categories show increases over 2011, except furniture, which is down 5 percent.