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Lawrence retail spending off to strong start in 2013; up 3.1 percent for the year


Here I thought I was the only one who visited my banker around Valentine’s Day. I’ve found that a home equity loan is useful when you’re trying to buy a year’s worth of forgiveness.

But apparently I’m not alone because a new report from City Hall shows retail spending spiked during the mid-February through mid-March period. The city’s latest sales report shows retail spending increased by 6.3 percent during the mid-February to mid-March period, compared with the same period a year ago.

It is always risky to put too much stock into one month’s worth of numbers, but we’ll see if this is the beginning of a spring spending surge. Regardless, retail sales in Lawrence are off to a solid start in 2013. Sales tax collections through the April reporting period are up about 3.1 percent compared with the same period a year ago. (The most recent report was for the April reporting period, but because of a lag time in processing, the numbers represent sales generally made in mid-February to mid-March.)

Here’s a look at how Lawrence’s retail sales totals stack up to past years. As always, the number in parenthesis is adjusted for inflation. Take a close look at those numbers, because for the first time in awhile the adjusted numbers show that Lawrence basically has returned to the pre-recession numbers of 2008 and early 2009. In other words, perhaps we have about dug out of that hole.

2013: $456 million

2012: $442.4 million ($448.5 million)

2011: $422.3 million ($437 million)

2010: $406.2 million ($433.6 million)

2009: $421.4 million ($457.22 million)

2008: $421.1 million ($455.2 million)

As for 2013, Lawrence’s growth rate is slightly above the statewide growth rate of 2.9 percent. Here’s a look at how Lawrence’s growth rate of 3.1 percent stacked up with some of the larger communities in the state:

• Emporia: up 2.9 percent

• Hays: up 3.3 percent

• Kansas City: up 5.8 percent

• Manhattan: down 3.2 percent

• Olathe: up 3.8 percent

• Ottawa: up 5 percent

• Overland Park: up 1.5 percent

• Shawnee: up 4.5 percent

• Topeka: down 0.1 percent

That list tells me one thing: My wife has been shopping in Kansas City. Dangit. I should have kept that joke to myself. Now, I have to find my banker’s number again.


Catalano 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm sure your wife is only shopping (for you) at Menards Kansas City.

Hey...I think we should put her in charge of retail development for Lawrence. She knows exactly what we need! I know...I've seen her credit cards! ;-) And I bet she could swing some major discounts for the stores she could bring in. It's a WIN-WIN-WIN. Win for Lawrence, win for her and win for your wallet! Let's do it!

jackpot 4 years, 9 months ago

Chad take the KC numbers with a grain of salt, your wife may have helped but I think they played a couple of Bball games at Sprint Center.

jackpot 4 years, 9 months ago

Last time I looked it said Kansas City, could be both sides of the state line.

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