Retail sales in Kitsap County, and just about everywhere else, took a nose dive after 2007.
Now many businesses are bouncing back. Kitsap retailers are on pace to this year to match pre-recession sales volumes. Taxable sales in trades outside traditional retail are gradually rebuilding as well:
To find out which sectors are recovering, and which are still digging out of the recession, I used a recently-released taxable sales report for 2013 to see how industries faired locally last year compared with 2007. This is what I found:
E-commerce: While still a small industry in Kitsap (about 3 percent of all retail trade sales), e-commerce grew in bounds over the last seven years. Online sales more than doubled between 2007 and 2013.
Fuel stations: Just about everyone buys gas (and munchies from convenience stores). Sales at fuel stations and attached mini-marts grew 46 percent.
Drug and health stores: There seems to be a pharmacy on every block these days, and they keep coming. Drug store sales were up 37 percent last year compared with 2007.
Vehicles and parts: Sales of new and used vehicles account for a big chunk (23 percent) of Kitsap retail. Business is starting to pick up for dealers, but overall sales were 8 percent lower in 2013 than in 2007.
Building materials: It’s no surprise sales of building materials are still down from 2007, given the precipitous decline in construction (see below) during the recession.
Health care (and management and education): This very awkward category shoehorns management firms and educational institutions in with health care providers of all types. Health care, at least, has seen rapid growth in recent years.
Restaurants and bars: Kitsap residents are still getting out on the town. Restaurants and watering holes made 18 percent more sales last year than in 2007. Arts, entertainment and recreation venues (think casinos, concerts and museums) are also doing well.
Wholesale: Sellers of bulk goods, from plumbing fixtures to booze, are doing more business now than before the recession.
Public administration: Governments also generate sales tax, but not so much lately. Taxable sales by public agencies were down 44 percent last year from 2007.
Construction: The construction industry bottomed out in 2011 and appears to be on a gradual upswing.
Source: Department of Revenue
Photo: Henery Do it Best Hardware employee Brian Kutzke pricing items at the new Wheaton Way store. MEEGAN REID / KITSAP SUN