Rampant consumer spending continued in Lafayette Parish in April, as total taxable retail sales continue to break the year’s record.
The $ 659.7 million in sales recorded during the month was the highest on record for April and the fourth highest month overall, according to data from the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. It brings the total for the year to over $ 2.4 billion, a 25% jump from a year ago.
With stimulus checks issued earlier this year and coronavirus restrictions lifted statewide, sales were almost 50% higher than a year ago, when the state went into lockdown mode at the start of the pandemic. April 2020 sales were the lowest this month in nearly 10 years.
April’s total came after March nearly surpassed $ 700 million for the highest spending month on record. It is also the first time that the parish has exceeded $ 600 million in sales in consecutive months.
“What a difference a year makes. With low taxable sales and a record unemployment rate, April 2020 has been a time of uncertainty for our community, ”said LEDA President and CEO Gregg Gothreaux. “As we have done so many times before, our community rallied, persevered and survived. Let’s continue to strengthen our economy this summer by supporting and buying local. We are in the same boat. “
Sales in the city of Lafayette topped $ 445 million, the highest recorded in April and well above the $ 360 million reported two years ago. The total is also 25% ahead of last year’s pace, which finished just short of a new record for the year.
Sales in other municipalities were also up from totals from two years ago, with Carencro leading the way with a 78% increase to $ 40.2 million in sales. Youngsville rose 51% to $ 32.7 million and Scott by 35% to $ 27 million. Duson rose 44% to $ 4.5 million, the second-highest month on record for the small town.
Broussard rose 10% to $ 53.2 million. Sales in unincorporated areas increased 32% to $ 56.7 million.
Other data points for the city of Lafayette include:
- Auto dealer sales hit a record high for the month at $ 39.5 million, coming a month after March’s $ 35.1 million nearly hit a record high.
- Restaurants, hampered at the start of the pandemic by in-person dining restrictions, had their best month on record, with sales topping $ 41 million, surpassing March’s record-setting $ 39.5 million .
- Bars and nightclubs had sales of $ 2.6 million, putting that number ahead of last year’s pace, but still below pre-pandemic totals in 2018.
- Sales of men’s clothing topped the million dollar mark, well above the total a year ago when sales did not exceed $ 100,000.
- Sales at building supply stores continued to climb, totaling $ 29.6 million, the second highest on record after $ 35 million in March.
- Photo studio sales reached the highest total in nearly five years at just under $ 800 million.
Sales tax collection numbers are collected by the Lafayette Parish school system.