Ringing Registers

July retail sales shatter record

by Leslie Turk

Lafayette Parish retail sales for first seven months of 2013 are up 3.5 percent over the same period last year.

Retail sales in Lafayette Parish continue their record pace this year, with July sales of $487 million up only 1 percent over July 2012 - but enough to set a new high.

Year to date taxable sales, which total $3.45 billion, are tracking 3.5 percent higher than the first seven months of 2012.

Impressively, all categories are up over last year, which set a record at $5.7 billion. The following is year-to-date performance of each retail category compared to 2012:

Food up 4.2%
Apparel up 1.5%
General Merchandise up 2.4%
Auto up 10%
Furniture up 9.1%
Building Materials up 1.1%
Services up 5.7%
Other up 17.8%

According to analysis of the figures by the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, auto and furniture are the real standouts; when big-ticket items like vehicles and furniture are being purchased, LEDA points out, it's a strong sign that consumer confidence is on the rise.

LEDA also noted that hotel-motel receipts are 4.4 percent higher than last year, with July receipts totaling $6.6 million, a strong 12.5 percent more than July 2012.