The state of OKC's retail industry

Published Monday, January 10, 2022
by Perrin Clore Duncan

At November’s Chamber Forum, attendees learned more about the state of OKC's retail industry just before the holiday shopping season took off. Though we are all more aware of the retail sector in its busiest months, it’s an important part of our economy year-round.

“25% of all jobs in Oklahoma are retail oriented,” said Anthony Humphrey from Cox Business, one of the event sponsors. “Needless to say, today's conversation about retailing, especially as we start to emerge from the pandemic is important to us all.”

After Humphrey set the tone of the event, highlighting the prominence of retail in so many of our lives, the panel discussion took the stage. Panelists included Daniel McLoud, Owner of TRADE Supply Co.; Shane McWhorter, General Manager of Washington Prime Group; Jim Parrack, Senior Vice President of Price Edwards & Company; and Cleo Rajon, Executive Director of the Independent Shopkeepers Association. Each panelist brought their unique and honest perspective as they contributed to the dialogue.

Shortly before the event, the city released the most recent sales tax report from October 2021, which revealed that Oklahoma City collected about $24.8 million in sales taxes for the month. That's 12.8% of the city's projection and 17.3% above the same month last year. In fact, the city's most six most recent sales tax checks are the largest in city history, which reveals an encouraging trend for our retail sector.

Even though the pandemic created financial difficulties for almost every sector of business, it seems retail will continue to recover throughout 2022--possibly even making up for some of the loss experienced during the height of the pandemic.

“Americans have $2.3 trillion more money in cash than they did before the pandemic, and so they're spending that,” said Parrack. “It is helping drive a lot of the retail business right now.”

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@okcretail With one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, Oklahoma City residents are set to shop.
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