Record retail sales streak continues in November – Knox County VillageSoup

Retail sales for the Midcoast set another monthly record in November, continuing the trend in place for the first 11 months of 2021.

Retail sales for the region — which includes all of Knox County and the adjacent Waldo County towns of Lincolnville and Islesboro — totaled $54.3 million in November 2021, according to the Maine Bureau of Revenue Services. This is a 19% jump from $45.5 million in sales in November 2020. November 2019 sales totaled $47.5 million.

All business categories recorded record sales. Part of the increase in sales is due to inflation as the prices of goods increase. The annual national inflation rate is around 7%, the highest since 1982.

Building materials sales totaled $13.4 million in November, up 16% from a year ago. Home construction and renovations continue apace.

Motor vehicle sales totaled $11.1 million, an increase of 2%.

Grocery stores reported taxable sales of $6.5 million, up 1% from a year ago. Most foods are exempt from state sales tax and therefore these figures are not included in retail sales reports.

General merchandise sales – primarily department store sales – totaled $9.5 million in November, an increase of 14%.

Restaurants reported sales of $5.4 million, up 10% from a year ago.

Accommodation companies reported sales of $1.45 million in November, a 66% jump from a year earlier.

And a diverse group of stores including gift shops, antique stores, jewelers, sporting goods stores and pharmacies had sales totaling $7.1 million, a 57% jump from to a year ago.

For the first 11 months of 2021, retail sales in the region totaled $704 million, up 27% from $555 million for the same months in 2020.

Statewide retail sales totaled $2.223 million in November 2021. This is a 15% increase from the previous year. The local area saw a bigger increase in sales than the state as a whole.

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