Recession? Not when it comes to food and booze
The Chicago area’s retail sales have nearly returned to pre-recession levels, though furniture, electronics and hardware stores lag recovery in bars and restaurants, according to a report released Tuesday exclusively to Grid.
The 2012 retail results — the latest data available — show retail sales totaling $105.8 billion, or 1 percent lower than pre-recession year 2007’s $106.9 billion total, according to the report compiled by Chicago-based consultancy Melaniphy & Associates.
In Chicago, retail sales last year beat by nearly 6 percent the total of six years ago, with a total of $24.3 billion in 2012 versus $22.95 billion in 2007.
Cook and Will counties also exceeded their 2007 retail sales levels, while DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties have yet to pull out of their economic slump. Among municipalities, Aurora-Naperville had the largest retail sales growth from 2007 to 2012, followed by Bolingbrook, the report said.
The best-performing categories in Chicago were bars and restaurants, where sales grew 18 percent from 2007; general merchandise stores, with a 10.8 percent jump, and food stores, up 7.86 percent, according to the report.
But home-improvement store sales fell 16.3 percent from 2007, and furniture and electronics sales, which are lumped into one category, dropped 2.8 percent in the same period.
Storefront Company photo by Tyler Curtis