General merchandise sales up 57 percent in Carson City in March |

General merchandise sales up 57 percent in Carson City in March

by Geoff Dornan

General merchandise sales in Douglas County were up 23.9 percent during the month of March, a jump attributed to its big box stores.

The statewide 18.6 percent increase in the category was the result in a major jump in sales by a single retailer, said Marian Henderson of the Taxation Department. She was barred from giving specifics.

Taxable sales in Douglas County continued to surge, posting a 7.7 percent increase in March, according to figures released by the Nevada Department of Taxation. The first three quarters of the 2012-13 fiscal year have seen a 6.5 percent change in the county. Merchants raked in $49.5 million in taxable sales up from $45.9 million the same month last year.

The county’s largest category, food services and drinking places, saw a 10.1 percent increase from $10.5 million in March 2012 to $11.6 million this year.

The county’s third largest category, building materials and garden equipment saw a decrease of 8.9 percent over last year, with $3.9 million in sales.

Wholesalers of durable goods jumped 19.1 percent jump for $3.1 million in sales.

Jumping into fifth place in March was amusement, gambling and recreation industry which had $2.5 million in taxable sales, up 727 percent from last year’s $304,245.

Statewide, Nevada saw a 5 percent increase in total sales in March, to $4.1 billion. That puts the state up 5.4 percent for the first three quarters of the fiscal year.

Other categories also reported significant improvements over a year ago. Accommodations were up 36.8 percent and construction industry categories were up 115 percent as the economy continues to recover in Nevada.

Carson City reported $71.56 million in taxable sales, a 10.9 percent increase over a year ago. Auto sales were up significantly — 8 percent, to $19 million.

Churchill County had a record month, reporting a 117 percent increase in total sales to $49.7 million. The reason was $21.3 million worth of building construction, many times the less than $42,000 in construction reported a year earlier. No details were available to explain that increase.

Churchill also had significant increases in sales of wholesale durable goods, at 44 percent; vehicle sales, 18.4 percent; and home furnishings sales, 131 percent.

Lyon County was one of the few counties that saw a decrease in taxable sales for March. The decrease was 29 percent, to $27.1 million.

Although general merchandise sales increased 15 percent, that was more than offset by a huge reduction in electrical equipment, appliances and other manufacturing. That category saw a massive increase a year ago, when $11.1 million in sales was reported.

Storey County reported a 40.6 percent increase, to $8.45 million.

Clark County reported $2.98 billion in sales, a 6.8 percent increase. Washoe reported a 7.1 percent increase, to $498.6 million.