Feb 26, 2013 12:00 AM by Steven Albritton
When it comes to retail business in Lafayette, the latest numbers released by the Lafayette Economic Development Authority are for the record books. According to LEDA, retail business brought in more than $5.7 billion dollars in 2012. The dollar amount is the highest on record since LEDA began tracking retails sales in 1997. It's good news for new business owners, giving them a sense of hope for the future.
For Monique Fremin, opening her own women's boutique was always a dream. Her parents and grandparents worked in the retail industry. She grew up going to the clothing and apparel markets.
"I guess I do have a little experience but I've never done it on my own. I just decided to give it a shot," Fremin said.
She opened her boutique, "Morgan Claire," just four weeks ago. In 2012, apparel sales were up 26% in Lafayette. Those numbers give this new business owner confidence in 2013.
"That's awesome. Hopefully I can help boost it up to 36%," Fremin said.
President and CEO of LEDA, Gregg Gothreaux, says consumer confidence is at an all time high.
"We knew it was better than previous years, but we weren't positive we were going to set the all time record for retail sales," Gothreaux said.
According to Gothreaux, Lafayette's main industries are centered around energy and medicine which are largely recession proof. He says both of those play a big role in supporting the retail industry.
To illustrate how big last year was for retail, four months out of the year saw monthly sales top $500 million dollars. It's the first time ever for any month, besides December, which that has happened.