Puerto Rico’s retail sales for the month of January 2018 totaled $2.8 billion, representing a 6.7 percent growth when compared to the same period in 2017, when total sales were $2.6 billion.
Similarly, February sales reached $2.5 billion, or a 9.5 percent jump, when compared to February 2017, when sales totaled $2.3 billion, according to data released by Puerto Rico Trade and Export.
“Gas stations and convenience stores continued to be two of the sectors with the greatest jump in sales, with an increase of 65 percent for the month of January and 48.4 percent for February, when compared to the same period of 2017,” Puerto Rico Trade and Export Executive Director Ricardo Llerandi said.
“Other sectors that continue to report the biggest increases in their sales are furniture stores and electronics stores. Furniture stores reported an increase of 49.8 percent and 88 percent for the months of January and February, respectively,” said Llerandi.
According to the agency’s totals, furniture stores reported $59 million in sales in January, vs. $39 million in January 2017. In February 2018, sales came in at $70.6 million, up from the $37.5 million for the same month a year ago. The recent jumps are likely related to purchases to replace damaged furniture post-Hurricane María.
“Similarly, electronic stores reported an increase of 88.1 percent for January and 64.6 percent for February,” Llerandi explained.
For the month of January the small- and mid-sized businesses exceeded $1 billion in sales, which remained flat when compared to the same month in 2017. Meanwhile, for the month of February this sector reported total sales of $964.6 million for the month of February 2018. This reflects an increase of 8.5 percent when compared to the same month in 2017, when sales reached of $889.3 million.
The agency noted that in January, large companies reported $237.5 million in sales, which represented a 5.5 percent growth, compared to the same year-ago month. On the other hand, large chains reported $1.5 billion in sales and a 14.2 percent growth, when compared to January 2017.
The size of the companies is defined by the amount of payroll paid. So, a small company is defined as a company whose quarterly payroll is less than $20,000. Mid-sized companies are those with a quarterly payroll greater than $20,000 up to $250,000.
Large companies are those with payrolls greater than $250,000. The large chains have payrolls greater than $250,000 and have more than one establishment in Puerto Rico, and can be local or foreign.