Lafayette retail sales set new record in 2014 at $6.41 billion _lowres


Retail sales in Lafayette Parish hit $6.41 billion in 2014, beating the record set in 2013 of $6 billion in sales, the Lafayette Economic Development Authority reported Thursday.

The news comes amid anxiety over a possible dip in the local economy from the fallout of a weak oil market.

But the ailing oil market seemed to have no clear impact as of December, which saw sales climb beyond $600 million, 12 percent above December 2013.

“The 2014 holiday shopping season exceeded expectations, and total retail sales easily exceeded the $6 billion mark reached in 2013,” LEDA President and CEO Gregg Gothreaux said in a written statement.

“In three years, retail sales have increased $1 billion, showing the stability of the economy and the confidence of local consumers to invest in big-ticket items. As the year progresses, LEDA will closely watch retail sales for signs of change.”

The best-performing sales category in 2014 was building materials, up 20 percent from 2013, according to LEDA.

LEDA’s report was based on figures from the Lafayette Parish School Board, which tracks retail sales in its role as sales tax collector for the parish.