Ringing Registers

Retail sales continue northward trend

by Leslie Turk

Year-to-date sales are outpacing 2013 by 4.7 percent.

Lafayette Parish retail sales of more than $565 million in June pushed the year-to-date total to $3.1 billion, an increase of 4.7 percent over 2013 - when spending for the year reached a record $6.02 billion. June sales, the highest on record for the month, reflect an increase of 5.3 percent over June 2013.

The Lafayette Economic Development Authority says building materials continue to lead the way, up 16 percent compared to 2013. Other categories showing increases over 2013 numbers are services, auto, other/miscellaneous, and general merchandise. LEDA notes that this distribution does not reflect retail sales in other municipalities in the parish.

"Last year we saw five $500 million months, the most ever in a year, and we have already seen four $500 months through June," says LEDA President and CEO Gregg Gothreaux. "With six months of sales recorded, LEDA's forecasting model shows that we are on track to exceed 2013's record-setting sales numbers."

In line with overall sales, hotel/motel receipts in June were the highest on record for the month. Receipts totaled $8.3 million, 20.1 percent higher than June 2013.

Year-to-date hotel-motel receipts are 10 percent higher than 2013 figures. In addition to June, LEDA notes that receipts reported in February, March, April and May are the highest on record for the respective months.

Retail sales numbers are collected by the Lafayette Parish School System.