Retail sales plummet in June | AspenTimes.com

Retail sales plummet in June

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Staff Writer

June was one of the hottest months on record in Aspen, but retail sales weren’t soaring like the temperatures.

Sales for the first month of summer were down 10.3 percent, compared to June 2001, based on sales tax collections reported by the city finance office. Sales for the first half of the year are down 5.6 percent, compared to the same six-month period last year.

Sales for the year were down 4.7 percent at the end of May.

Tourist accommodations, the largest single sector of the local retail economy, were off pace by 19.2 percent for the month of June and down 7 percent for the year.

Restaurant/bar business was down 7.6 percent in June, compared to the same month a year ago, and is down 2.7 percent for the first half of the year.

Together, lodging and restaurant/bar sales make up nearly half of the resort’s overall sales.

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Among other sectors of the retail economy, sports equipment/clothing sales were down 8 percent this June, and the category is down 5.6 percent for the year. General clothing sales were down 14.2 percent in June and 11 percent for the first half of the year.

Utilities dipped 8.9 percent in June and are down 8.2 percent for the year.

General retail, which includes items such as hardware and appliances, was down 10.4 percent for the month and 3.8 percent for the first six months of the year.

Speciality retail, including gifts, books, antiques, luggage and the like, was among the few categories to improve in June – up 8.7 percent over the same month a year ago. It is up .1 percent for the first half of the year.

Liquor store sales were down 8.3 percent for June and are lagging behind last year’s pace by 2.8 percent.

Gallery and fur sales are up for the year, but both categories make up less than 1 percent of the resort’s overall sales.

For the month of June, overall sales totaled $27.2 million, according to the finance office report. A year ago, total sales for the month of June totaled $30.3 million, which was down 1.6 percent from June 2000.

For the first half of this year, overall sales totaled $188.1 million, compared to $199.2 million for the first six months of 2001. Last year’s total sales for the first half of the year were off the prior year’s pace by 3.8 percent.

[Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com]

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