After climbing steadily since 2002, retail sales slid 11.61 percent last year, falling from $5.4 billion in 2008 to $4.8 billion. December 2009’s $466 million in sales represents a 14 percent drop from December 2008.
Unlike much of the rest of the country, which suffered declining retail sales when the economy took a dive in 2008, Lafayette Parish’s taxable sales increased 3 percent in 2008. Just about everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief at the slight uptick in this barometer of economic activity, but the optimism quickly faded, as the decline of 2009 was right around the corner. When January’s totals came in, they were down 6 percent. And while February bounced up ever so slightly, same month sales comparisons consistently showed declines through the remainder of the year. The biggest disappointment came in October 2009, which plummeted $97 million, or 21 percent, from October 2008.
Though certainly unrealistic to believe the parish’s record-breaking retail sales streak could continue, the decline is cause for concern. But it certainly is no reason to panic, as the 2009 total is right up there with 2005's sales, a big year of growth even before hurricanes Katrina and Rita brought an influx of shoppers to the area and federal incentives that spurred a construction boom and sent retail sales beyond the $5 billion mark for the first time. "I'm not going to pretend that it's as good as it was, but this is on pace with pre-hurricane years," says LEDA's Gregg Gothreaux. "You don't build your business plan based on your best year. You build your business plan based on indicators for the past five years, more if you can," he adds.
"Obviously the boom has curtailed, and we're feeling the results of the national recession and what's going on in Washington. It's certainly affecting the oil and gas industry — they're waiting on Washington's attitude toward the energy business," Gothreaux continues. "The one thing business can't handle is uncertainty. That holds true not just for the oil and gas industry but for all businesses."
In the Pelican State, Benjamin Franklin buys you about $109 worth of stuff.
Brittan Bush joins Liskow & Lewis, Blake David installed as the Third District Member of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s board of governors, and Simien & Miniex announces 2014 scholarship winners.
“In some cases, we’ve found that these parts are nothing more than used junk yard parts. In others, we’ve found them to be foreign knock-off parts of questionable quality.”
The old Daily Advertiser building on Jefferson Street is being rehabbed as the owner prepares to move it back into commerce.
Its fourth leader gone after two years on the job, the facility struggles to balance the tension between its two missions.
Hub City Cycles hits the ground running through small-business center opportunity.
The future of the coastal loss lawsuit could rest in hands of board’s nominating committee.
Leaders from the local tech community ponder the question: What's missing from Acadiana's tech ecosystem?
AT&T’s U-verse heads our way. Here’s what it means for you.
LITE’s virtual environments are changing the way local employees learn how to do their jobs.
Local tech gurus will go the distance to call Lafayette home.
A look at recent hires, promotions and other news from Acadiana's business community.
New Johnston Street eatery catapults to No. 1 spot in nearly 200-location chain.
By identifying companies that match the output of its post-secondary educational institutions, Lafayette is creating opportunities that keep highly trained graduates in the area.
Gideon’s Promise lauds G. Paul Marx’s work to improve the quality of indigent defense and helps train five new public defenders.
What will INNOV8 4.0 look like?
Courtesy Ford is honored; EatLafayette fêtes itself
AG says 50-year-old Terry Francis Savoy sold fraudulent Workers Compensation and Employers Liability insurance policies throughout the state.
The state's jobless rate rose to 5.4 percent in July from 5 percent in June. Louisiana's unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in July 2013.
Oil Center eatery plans drive-thru location on Ambassador Caffery
Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to sell drilling rights in shale formations in Louisiana and Wyoming for $2.1 billion in two transactions.
Local skate shop collaborates with sneaker giant to create the "Crawfish Dunks"
Lafayette-based drilling fluids/frac sand distributor enhances service lines with purchase of Erath company.
A national banking publication has named local banker Kevin Latiolais one of its Top Lenders for 2014.
The Bohn family, which owns New Orleans Audi in Metairie, is bringing the luxury German brand to Johnston Street.