Tumwater once again was the municipal champ of retail-sales growth in Thurston County, according to state Department of Revenue data released this week.
It was the county’s only city to see its retail sales grow by 20 percent from the third quarter of 2011 to the third quarter of 2012. It’s followed by Yelm, Olympia and Lacey, two of which showed less than 5 percent growth in the same period. Second-quarter retail sales in Tumwater rose as much as 27 percent.
The city’s growth has been propelled by a busy retail sector near Trosper and Littlerock roads. Stores in the area are Walmart, The Home Depot, Costco Wholesale, Fred Meyer, Walgreens and Albertsons.
The city continues to benefit from a Walmart effect, Finance Director Jim Hendrickson said. He added that other gains in the third quarter likely were one-time boosts, such as businesses, local governments and consumers upgrading their technology needs.
For example, retail sales in Tumwater, generated by sales of electronics and appliances, shot up 770 percent to $13 million from $1.5 million in the year-over-year third-quarter period, the data show.
Hendrickson said he thinks the Trosper Road/Littlerock Road shopping zone should continue to produce steady retail-sales growth of about 6 percent.
Yelm City Administrator Shelly Badger said the city’s retail-sales growth has remained consistent, helped by a stable retail environment, steady home-building — about 100 new residential building permits were issued last year — and the fact that Yelm draws shoppers from other rural communities, such as Roy, McKenna, Rainier and Tenino.
Here are the overall taxable retail results for the county and its largest cities in the third quarters of 2012/2011:
Thurston County: Rose 3.75 percent to $987.9 million from $952.2 million.
Olympia: Rose 3.84 percent to $437.6 million from $421.4 million.
Lacey: Rose 2.33 percent to $238.3 million from $232.8 million.
Tumwater: Rose 19.68 percent to $129.8 million from $108.4 million.
Yelm: Rose 9.51 percent to $40.9 million from $37.3 million.
The state Department of Revenue releases a separate category of retail-sales results called retail trade, which is considered a better measure of consumer purchases.
Tumwater did well in this category, too.
Here are the results for the same third-quarter period:
Thurston County: Rose 7.81 percent to $520.6 million from $482.9 million.
Olympia: Rose 8.42 percent to $232 million from $213.9 million.
Lacey: Rose 0.66 percent to $140.1 million from $139.2 million.
Tumwater: Rose 28.7 percent to $75.2 million from $58.4 million.
Yelm: Rose 6.44 percent to $24 million from $22.6 million.
By industry sector, retail sales in Olympia, generated by sales of new and used vehicles, rose 20 percent, while construction fell 6 percent. A category called “sporting goods, toys, books and music stores” fell 15 percent. That category likely is down because Olympia no longer has a Borders or Circuit City store.
The state Department of Revenue does not disclose sales to specific stores.
In Tumwater, retail sales generated by sales of electronics and appliances shot higher, as did construction, which rose nearly 15 percent, the data show. In Lacey, construction rose 5 percent, but retail sales generated by sales of furniture and home furnishings fell 10 percent and electronics and appliances were down 12.5 percent, the data show.
Because of rounding, percentage-change figures released by the Department of Revenue might be slightly different in this story.