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."
The company currently has 10 branches throughout Louisiana, including an Ambassador Caffery location which opened last year.
Lawmakers have added $15 million to the attorney general's budget to pay for Louisiana's ongoing legal case against BP for damages caused by the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
The state's jobless rate rose to 5 percent in June from 4.9 percent in May. Louisiana's unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in June 2013.
Long-established private club opening special events venue in failed women’s store at Kaliste Saloom Road and Camellia Boulevard.
High-dollar legal teams are preparing to spar in federal court over the regional levee authority’s historic lawsuit against oil and gas companies, but a panel of volunteers could preempt those efforts when they meet in August.
May sales, the highest on record for the month at $534 million, increased 6.1 percent over May 2013.
Trendy Shi Shi is heading to the Ranch, longtime retail institution Partners’ Ltd. is relocating to Parc Lafayette, and ariel artist haven Vertical Barre is moving downtown.
There’s another debit/credit card scam making the rounds — the second this year — this time via a robo call purportedly from MidSouth Bank.
The 2014 Louisiana Annual Sales Tax Holiday exempts the first $2,500 of the purchase price of each eligible item for non-business use when the customer buys and accepts delivery of eligible property or places property on layaway.
The Lafayette-based home nursing firm will buy 14 home health agencies from a Tennessee company for $10 million in cash.
When Gov. Bobby Jindal signed a controversial bill retroactively banning the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East from filing lawsuits without his permission, many people thought that would put an end to the suit against 97 oil and gas companies.
Citing 76-year-old Garnette Thomas’ age and cooperation, federal judge says no jail time.
“There is something about being out on the swamp when you are alone that sucks the poisons of civilization out of you. It’s a sort of healing power that lets you be yourself again. That’s the kind of thing that would be ruined by a facility like this.”
The project was pushed by former Agriculture Commissioner Bob Odom as a way to help Louisiana's sugar industry, and its financing was approved in 2003 by the State Bond Commission. But it was a failure from the start and left current commissioner Mike Strain saddled with debt at his agency.
Family owned Baton Rouge milk and ice-cream producer aims to put PR nightmare behind it.
For Jennings-based JD Bank, IberiaBank’s buyout of Teche Federal couldn’t have come at a better time.
Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell says a south Louisiana flood board member who supports the board's environmental lawsuit against the oil and gas industry has reached the end of his term.
The Women Who Mean Business honorees and trailblazers will be featured as a cover story in the September issue of ABiz, which publishes Sept. 15.
Local attorney helps expand service offerings at Andrus Boudreaux Complete Title, which specializes in commercial and residential real estate closings.
Controversial LSU professor David Dismukes has come under fire once again, this time from 20 solar-power groups over his role in a Louisiana PSC study on the costs and benefits of alternative energy.
The state labor department figures released Monday show the initial claims decreased to 2,577 from the previous week's total of 2,604. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 3,027.
Louisiana officials are refusing to disclose the details of crude oil shipments railroads haul through the state.
Faced with paying a hefty ethics fine, the local real estate developer sells another property, his Wingate by Wyndham hotel.
This year has been a good one for Lafayette’s IT sector, first with April's news of CGI’s new technology center and then Monday's announcement from Silicon Valley-based Enquero that it will soon be opening its first Agile Delivery Center at LITE.
Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained seven rigs, New Mexico and West Virginia were up two and Oklahoma added one. Pennsylvania declined by five, California lost three, Louisiana was down two and Colorado and Kansas both were off one.