The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce reported today that total retail sales over 2017, set a fourth consecutive record level – $2.808 billion – in Albemarle County / Charlottesville “retail hub,” according to complied Virginia sales & use tax data; sales gains in Albemarle offsetting retail sales declines in Charlottesville.
Virginia Department of Taxation retail sales tax data compiled showed that retail sales over the course of 2017 (January - December) were mixed across the region compared to the full 2016 year. Total 2017 retail sales reached record high levels in Albemarle (+6.75%); Augusta (+1.84%); and, Fluvanna (+4.43%). Retail sales dropped in Charlottesville, (- 3.34% with declines in eight of twelve months); Greene (-3.62%); Louisa (-1.80%); and, Waynesboro (-2.11%).
Albemarle and Charlottesville, the region’s aggregate “retail hub,” accounted for $2.804 billion (+2.47%) in total retail sales over the course of 2017; +$67.6 million higher than the 2016 record high total. Retail sales in Albemarle have risen 26 months in a row since October 2015.
The 2017 Chamber Jobs Report data showed that over the full year prior, “Trade, Transportation & Utilities” hold the largest segment of private-sector jobs, 19,104 or 21.8%, within the Greater Charlottesville region; most of those jobs in retail. Notably, Wegmans, a leading supermarket company, that opened in late Fall 2016, with 550 people hired for jobs at its new Albemarle location, was not fully accounted for included in that annualized employment report. Wegmans sales over the full course of 2017 are fully accounted in the retail sales compilation.
In addition to the retail associated jobs and private investment, a gain or loss in retail sales equates to a local tax revenue gain or loss. Over calendar year 2017, total sales tax revenues in Albemarle were $16.68 million; a year-to-year gain of +$1.58 million. Total calendar 2017 sales tax revenues in Charlottesville were $11.39 million; a year-to-year loss of -$400,000.
The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to representing private enterprise, promoting business and enhancing the quality of life in the Greater Charlottesville communities. Founded in 1913, today the 1,200 Chamber member and affiliate member enterprises employ more than 45,000 people in the Greater Charlottesville region, representing an estimated total payroll of more than $1.9 billion a year.