Feb 25, 2013 5:09 PM by KATC

2012: Highest year on record for retail sales

Lafayette, LA- With sales of more than $596 million in December, 2012 total retail sales reached $5.71 billion- the highest year on record. December 2012 sales were the highest recorded for any December since LEDA began tracking retail sales in 1997.

"The 2012 holiday shopping season did not disappoint and total retail sales easily exceeded the $5.36 billion mark reached in 2011," says Gregg Gothreaux, President and CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. "Steady sales across all categories reflect the diversity and stability of the economy and the confidence of local consumers to invest in big ticket items."

As with retail sales, 2012 hotel/motel receipts outperformed 2011 totals. December hotel/motel receipts totaled $4,854,475, placing the 2012 total 13.6% higher than 2011.

Overall, apparel, general merchandise and food are the best performing categories in 2011 with double digit increases over 2011 numbers, 26.4%, 22.8% and 18.6% respectively. All other categories showed increases over 2011, ranging from 17.2% to 7.2%.

The previous retail sales record was set in 2008 when sales topped $5.4 billion. Sales dipped in 2009; however, a surge in spending in late 2010 continued into 2011. In, 2012 monthly sales topped $500 million in four months- the first time ever not in December. Though monthly sales totals dipped slightly in the latter part of the year; sales in December increased 5.2% over December 2011, outpacing national sales increases.

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


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