Retail in New Orleans
Retail attraction is a top priority for the Business Alliance. National industry trends and Hurricane Katrina’s impact left Orleans Parish devoid of vital storefronts. NOLABA has found that New Orleans loses out on $1.9 billion of annual retail revenue to neighboring parishes and other cities. This presents a tremendous opportunity for retailers to take advantage of this leakage and set up shop in the city. The recent successes of Costco, H&M and the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk demonstrate the market is strong and ripe for investment.
This strength is echoed by the huge increase the City has seen in retail sales tax collections over the past three years. When the Business Alliance was founded in 2011, the City collected $88.9 million in retail sales tax over the first eight months of the year. Over that same period in 2014, the City collected $110.1 million, an increase of 23.9 percent or $21.2 million. These funds feed directly into the City’s general fund, providing an increased level of services for residents.
There is still opportunity for additional retail in New Orleans. The city is primed to support electronics, home furnishing stores, general department stores, and sports, hobbies, and musical instrument specialty retailers immediately as well as a variety of fashion retailers.