Retail sales continue to grow in Whatcom County, statewide

Whatcom County’s retail sales grew 6.67 percent to a total of more than $792 million during the second quarter of 2012 compared to the same period last year, according to new data from the Washington State Department of Revenue.

As usual, Bellingham made up the bulk of the county’s total taxable retail during the second quarter with more than $525 million in sales, a 5.43 percent increase from the second quarter last year.

The border town of Sumas, with a second-quarter growth rate of 22.75 percent to more than $5.8 million, showed the most significant retail increase from the same period in 2011.

Statewide, total taxable retail sales grew 4.7 percent to $26.8 billion during the second quarter of 2012 compared to last year.

Numbers from the state’s retail trade sector, which includes sales from retailers but leaves out other industries such as services and construction, showed a 5.3 percent increase to $12.3 billion.

Whatcom’s retail trade sector grew 6.6 percent to more than $391 million in the second quarter of 2012. All county cities showed growth in that area, except for Lynden, which posted a 0.53 percent decline in retail trade, according to the revenue department.

State officials said that among major industries, construction statewide increased 7 percent to $3.9 billion, accommodations and food services increased 5.4 percent to $3.2 billion, motor vehicles and parts rose 12.9 percent to $2.9 billion, and general merchandise stores were up 2.1 percent to $2.4 billion.

By the numbers

Whatcom County
Total retail sales in second quarter 2012: $792,139,642 (6.67 percent increase from 2011)
Retail trade sector (excludes services and construction): $391,262,018 (6.66 percent increase)

Bellingham
Total retail sales: $525,645,174 (up 5.43 percent)
Retail trade sector: $300,577,678 (up 6.23 percent)

Lynden
Total retail sales: $50,369,415 (up 5.38 percent)
Retail trade sector: $23,049,029 (down 0.53 percent)

Ferndale
Total retail sales: $41,153,959 (up 11.01 percent)
Retail trade sector: $16,040,434 (up 11.16 percent) 

Blaine
Total retail sales: $30,979,028 (up 10.65 percent)
Retail trade sector: $11,922,780 (up 15.5 percent)

Sumas
Total retail sales: $5,875,797 (up 22.75 percent)
Retail trade sector: $3,035,122 (up 33.69 percent)

Everson
Total retail sales: $5,171,096 (up 1.46 percent)
Retail trade sector: $1,936,081 (up 3.63 percent)

Nooksack
Total retail sales: $1,897,644 (up 2.46 percent)
Retail trade sector: $977,857 (up 6.26 percent)

Unincorporated county areas
Total retail sales: $131,047,526 (up 9.69 percent)
Retail trade sector: $33,723,034 (up 9.2 percent)

Contact Evan Marczynski at evan@bbjtoday.com or call 360-647-8805.

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