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Consumers Boost Retail Spending In Franklin County

Franklin County today released its 2012 snapshot of retail spending. Four years after the Great Recession, retail sales in Franklin County are up by 15%. But, 10% of the county's storefronts remain vacant. Columbus Chamber of Commerce researcher Jung Kim identifies two factors that put a drag on county revenue from retail sales. "E-commerce, as well as the outlet malls which are more about the cheaper prices, they're out, further away," Kim says. Kim says retail sales hit bottom in 2009. And it's been a bumpy road back to pre-recesssion levels. "It's been stops and starts but it is looking a lot better. There's is some interest among retail developers in building new again and that hasn't happened in years," Kim says. Last year, Franklin County collected $170-million dollars in sales taxes, compared to $147-million dollars in 2009.