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Alabamians shopping more in 2021; sales tax is ‘off the chart’

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 3:14 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - More Alabamians are shopping again. The state’s sales tax for March and April is up by 41% compared to last year when the coronavirus pandemic kick-started in the U.S. The Alabama Retail Association said the growth is “off the chart.”

“People are still buying a lot online, but they’re also buying now a lot in store,” Nancy King Dennis of the Alabama Retail Association said on the numbers from the Alabama Department of Revenue. Dennis said she was fine with a 2% to 3% increase in in sales. Therefore, a 41% increase seemed surreal.

“We’ve come back to even better than pre-pandemic levels of spending going on in the state of Alabama,” Dennis said.

The National Retail Federation predicts 2021 could be the fastest growth period since 1984.

Being cooped up in quarantine has also resulted in more people wanting to go outdoors, which is good news for sporting goods stores. The biking business boomed during the pandemic.

“Folks wanted to get out more and more on their bike and running,” Montgomery Multisport general manager Abby Hancock said. “So that certainly kept the doors open.”

The stores earnings track along with the states, as Hancock said the sporting goods retailer has sold more than ever.

“May of 2021 was actually our biggest month in over 10 years that we’ve been open,” she said.

Montgomery Multisport said athletic shoes are rapidly selling, as more and more people go outside for summer activities.

“Athletic shoes, running shoes, and people just going out and trying to find new activities in the sunshine, whether it’s walk around the park or picking up running as a new hobby,” Hancock said.

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