The state’s latest data on retail sales shows robust growth for some segments but sagging numbers for others.
It’s hardly surprising that online sales have boomed, but new figures from the state’s Department of Revenue show how much.
In the first three months of this year, taxable sales from e-commerce and mail order retailers grew 16.7 percent, year over year, to $606 million.
That follows several quarters in which growth has fluctuated from as low as 10.3 percent to as high as 23.9 percent — all robust numbers, compared to the rest of the economy.
And that growth is probably an understatement of how much e-commerce has really grown, given that it includes only sales subject to state tax, and may not include online sales made by businesses with bricks-and-mortar stores.
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Hometown heavyweight Amazon.com, which just posted its fifth straight profitable quarter on sales of $30.4 billion, most certainly played a part.
Another retail category with huge sales growth? Drug and health stores, which grew 18.1 percent, year over year, for the first three months of this year to $585 million.
That follows quarters in which growth ranged from 19.7 to 27 percent.
The likely reason for those huge jumps? Marijuana stores, following the beginning of legal recreational pot sales in July 2014.
Not all retailers fared as well.
Department stores, for instance, which have been suffering nationwide, saw taxable sales in this state drop 1.1 percent in the first quarter of the year, compared to a year ago. Apparel and accessories sales dropped 1 percent.
Nordstrom, which reports its second quarter earnings Aug. 11, exemplified some of those woes, reporting lower than expected sales in recent quarters, particularly in its brick-and-mortar stores.