Retail sales in Lafayette Parish are continuing to rise in 2011, with the first three months besting 2010’s first quarter by 9.62 percent.
February’s 8.64 percent rise in retail spending was the first sign of what might be a sizeable turnaround in retail activity, and March’s 11 percent increase over March 2010 and 24 percent increase over sales a month ago is reason to believe a trend may be developing in this important economic measure.
Total retail sales in March were $475 million, compared with $382 million in February and $427 million in March a year ago.
In 2010, the parish ended up a small 0.78 percent, thanks in large part to a strong showing in December. December spending topped the $517 million mark, making it the fourth highest month on record for the parish, and total sales for the year were $4.8 billion. — Leslie Turk
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.