Johnson County

Retail sales down in Bristol

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Fewer shoppers are going to Bristol, Va. and Bristol, Tenn., according to a new retail sales report.

The East Tennessee State University Bureau of Business and Economic Research released the report  Wednesday.

It showed retail sales in Bristol dropped 5% over the summer, in the second quarter.

The percentage does not account for inflation.

Dr. Steb Hipple is a professor of economics at ETSU and a research associate for the Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

Hipple is the author of the report.

These numbers will change, he said, when the Bass Pro Shop and Cabela's shopping centers open in Bristol in the next fiscal year.

"These new shopping centers will come online and these new stores will become available and we will expect to see a jump in sales in both Bristol, Virginia and Bristol, Tennessee and that will show up as an immense increase in year to year sales," Hipple said.

Bristol is experiencing normal fluctuations, he told us.

"If you look at the data from last year, they were the leader of expansion in retail sales so they had given back some of what they gained last year," said Hipple.

Year-to-year fluctuations are normal in smaller metropolitan areas, he said.

Retail numbers in the overall Tri-Cities area rose after four years of decline, Hipple told us.

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