Lafayette Parish’s June retail sales of more than $500 million reflect a 12 percent increase over June a year ago, and that activity boosts the year-to-date figure to $2.8 billion, 10.1 percent more than the first six months of 2011.
“June retail sales mark only the third time we’ve seen a $500 million month that was not a December; the previous two times were in March and May of this year,” says Gregg Gothreaux, president and CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. “With six months of sales recorded, LEDA’s forecasting model shows that we will beat the all-time high of $5.4 billion set in 2008 with total sales approaching the $6 billion mark.” If LEDA's model is accurate, Lafayette Parish would best its record by more than 11 percent.
LEDA also notes that hotel/motel receipts continue to outperform 2011 totals. June receipts totaled $6.7 million, pushing the year-to-date total 14.6 percent higher than the first six months of 2011.
So far this year, general merchandise and services are the top performing categories, with increases of 9.8 percent, 9.4 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively, over 2011 numbers. All other categories show increases over 2011, except furniture, which is down 5 percent.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.