Ringing Registers

November retail sales fall 7.7 percent

Lafayette Parish retail sales for the first 11 months of the year dipped 5.7 percent compared with 2014.

November retail sales in Lafayette Parish — $463 million in goods were sold — fell 7.7 percent compared with November 2014, marking the eighth consecutive month in which sales were lower than the comparable month a year earlier.

Primarily attributable to falling oil prices, year-to-date sales declined 5.7 percent for the first 11 months of 2015, totaling $5.42 billion. For the year, sales are down in all municipalities across the parish — ranging from 1.1 percent in Lafayette to 21.4 percent in Broussard. Sales also dipped 20.4 percent in unincorporated areas of the parish.

Within the city of Lafayette, year-to-date sales in the food category show a 1.2 percent increase over 2014. However, sales were down in all other categories — ranging from 0.5 percent for auto to 7.2 percent for building materials. In a month-to-month comparison (November 2015 to November 2014), auto sales are up 8.9 percent, while sales in all other categories are down — ranging from 0.1 percent for food to 12.7 percent for miscellaneous goods.

The Lafayette Economic Development Authority noted some bright spots in retail sales when taking a deeper look into sales within the different categories. In the food category, grocery store sales swelled 20.7 percent over 2014, and restaurants sales increased 2.8 percent. In the apparel category, men’s clothing rose 3.2 percent and children’s clothing increased 13.2 percent. Roofing contractor sales jumped 16.9 percent and painting contractor sales increased 13.7 percent in the building materials category.

Local hotels are also taking a hit. November hotel/motel receipts totaled $5.7 million, 14.4 percent lower than November 2014. And year-to-date hotel/motel receipts are down 5.8 percent.