WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Nationwide, retail sales dropped more than expected. In the Sunflower State, things rung up a bit differently.
According to July’s revenue report, retail sales tax collections in Kansas were up over $11.5 million – over 5% percent from the previous month. Economist Jeremy Hill said it’s partly due to pent-up demand.
“So they may have delayed a lot of that purchasing to the summer when they could actually get out,” commented Hill.
Hill said consumer confidence was up earlier in the season, inspiring people to shop.
“For Kansas, because of our very conservative nature or we finally say okay we’re ready now,” he continued.
For Wichita business owner Alexus Scott, the demand for her merchandise skyrocketed as many shopped early for back to school.
“That number, that 48% does not include online sales for July. So, we were up 48%. Big deal,” said Scott.
A nearly 50% increase at her brick-and-mortar shop. Retail shopping isn’t the only thing Kansans are spending money on.
“Food, eating out, getting your hair, getting your nails done. So those things that we really want to do as experiences, those are going to start taking more primary role in our budget,” continued Hill.
Joe Dakin, a brand specialist at Urban Routine Wellness, said he’s seen a definite increase in people returning to self-care habits.
“I think that we will only see things growing and excelling our expectations. I am excited to see how much more business and like local businesses can thrive within Wichita once everything truly is back to normal,” commented Dakin.
In July, combined sales and use tax receipts in Kansas were nearly $293 million. This is 20% higher than pre-pandemic in July 2019.