Lafayette sees retail sales slump in May compared with same month last year _lowres

Advocate file photo by BRAD KEMP -- Shoppers Triniti Jolivette, left, and Destiny Lafleur look for some furniture on July 17, 2015 at Louise's Read Wood Furniture in Lafayette, La. Retail sales in Lafayette are down from last year.

The retail sector in Lafayette Parish continues to struggle as the oil patch suffers weak crude prices.

Year-to-date retail sales as of Sept. 30 were down 5 percent compared with last year, slipping from $4.7 billion for the first nine months of 2014 to $4.48 billion for the same period this year, according to figures released Friday by the Lafayette Economic Development Authority.

Sales in September alone were down 8 percent when compared with September 2014, according to the figures.

LEDA reported September was the sixth month in a row that saw sales lower than the prior year.

The pain has not been felt evenly.

In the city of Lafayette, year-to-date sales were off by less than 1 percent, but in Broussard, where there is a heavy concentration of oilfield service companies, sales were down 22 percent.

Year-to-date sales in unincorporated areas of the parish have slipped by 19 percent.

“For the first time this year, sales in big-ticket and durable goods, such as auto and furniture, are down compared to the 2014 total reflecting continued consumer uncertainty in the overall economy,” LEDA President and CEO Gregg Gothreaux said in a written statement.

“LEDA’s forecasting model remains consistent, indicating total retail sales this year should be on par with 2012 totals — just under $6 billion. This will still be more than 20 percent higher than retail sales in 2009, when Lafayette was impacted by the national recession.”