More retail options means more revenue and jobs for New Orleans


by Antwan Harris

Posted on December 8, 2013 at 1:02 PM

NEW ORLEANS - Busy holiday shopping continues at Costco in New Orleans. It's a permanent fixture in the city as retail shops are becoming more commonplace.

 Susan Guidry, District A councilperson said, “The fact of the matter is we have never had a lot of retail historically. In a ten parish region, we only have about 15-percent of the retail.”

 In a new study from the New Orleans Business Alliance, the city is losing nearly $2-billion a year in retail sales to outside parishes.

 The service industry shows a similar trend.

 Of the $281-million spent at full service restaurants, more $135-million (43%) of the sales come from people living outside Orleans parish.

 Guidry says bringing in big retailers like Costco helps bring in more income and jobs to the city.

 Retail accounts for about 91-thousand jobs in Orleans parish.

 “So imagine if we had a greater amount of retail here in the city and that is what we are doing, bringing it here to the city,” Guidry said.

 Chris and Keith Hazeltine drive in from St. Charles parish to do their holiday shopping.

Keith said shopping here is reminiscent of his childhood days.

 “When I was a kid we used to always go shopping on Canal Street until some places went away. It is nice to be able to come back to New Orleans,” Hazletine said.

 And it kept David Medoff from taking his business elsewhere.

 “Having it here in town is really convenient. It kept me from going online to buy it,” he said.

 The study shows in 2012 New Orleans met less than 20-percent of the demand for electronics and appliances from consumers.

 Right now 12 new retail projects are set to be built in the city by 2015.