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KY Retailers Still Have Room to Grow

Kentucky retailers are hoping for an ‘end of the year’ rush between now and Tuesday.  The 2012 holiday shopping period is certainly not one for the record books.  Laura Leigh Goins with the Kentucky Retail Federation says businesses gauge sales from November through the end of December.  

She says retailers report ‘good sales’, but adds there’s still room to grow in 2013.

“You know, what we’ve heard from our members is that this year’s Christmas and holiday shopping in general has been better than it has been over the last few years, but still not as good as it used to be, prior to the recession,” said Goins.

Goins says the biggest damage to Kentucky retailers continues to come from on-line buying.

“The biggest detriment to our Kentucky retailers is actually on line sales that go out throughout the year, not just at the holidays.  Last year I think we had about $3.5 billion in online sales that went to companies outside the state of Kentucky that don’t employ Kentuckians, don’t give money to their local communities, and don’t even collect the state sales tax,” added Goins.

Goins says the financial hit from a lack of a state sales tax for on-line buying comes to $12 million.  Lots of people in Kentucky business are anxiously watching to see if a budget deal is worked out in the nation’s capital.   There are worries a failure to act on the so called ‘fiscal cliff’ could greatly slow the national economy.  Laura Leigh Goins says businesses in the commonwealth are also concerned.

“They’re still planning, they’re still making adjustments in their inventory and their marketing and their sales prices and their labor, their employment, so they can kind of keep up with the market and remain nimble,” said Goins.

Goins says Kentucky retailers are also looking for a ‘consistent tax policy.’ 

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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