Oak Lawn like other communities throughout our Nation saw its worse year for retail sales in modern history occur in 2009 when total sales plummeted to $970.362 million . The good news is that strategic planning and aggressive economic initiatives taken by our Governing Body have fueled a clear recovery and now a growth pattern.
In 2014, sales were at $1.122 billion reflecting a 15.6% increase over 2009 figures and a 5.6 % increase over 2013 retaining Oak Lawn’s position in the top 20 Chicago Suburbs for Retail Sales Volume . The positive impact of Stony Creek Promenade led by Mariano’s opening in September of 2014 showed up statistically with a 17.72 % increase in Villagewide Food Stores sales. That statistic alone placed Oak Lawn as number 3 of the top 20 Chicago Suburbs in retail sales increase for Food Stores.
Oak Lawn was number 5 of the top 20 for Automobile and Gasoline Sales with a 10.25% increase where the average increase for the top 20 Chicago suburbs was 6.42 % for 2014. Sales for Eating & Drinking Establishments increased 3.26% in the Village whereas the increase for the top 20 Chicago Suburbs was 3.79%. Cooper’s Hawk Winery and other new Eateries did not open their doors for business until second and third quarter 2015 so our stats next year should be quite robust in this category.
Home improvements sales saw a slight decrease during a time when new home construction is picking up in Oak Lawn. This slight decrease was also experienced in 17 of the 20 top Chicago Suburbs as well as the City of Chicago. The “great news” is that home improvements measured by retail purchases of supplies and products in Oak Lawn over the turbulent economic market of 2007-2014 ranked “ 4th highest” of the top 20 Chicago suburbs.
As the Board is aware, some criticism about Stony Creek Promenade and the Village as a whole has been the lack of choices for consumers in the categories of apparel & accessories; electronics; and furniture. The “facts” are that such categories showed “negative growth” in 2014 in the – 2% range and subsequently large malls like Orland Square; Oakbrook Center; Gurnee Mills and Chicago Ridge showed overall sales growth below the Village of Oak Lawn in the 1-4.5% rate.
Finally, the 5.6% overall growth in retail sales in Oak Lawn for 2014 was the highest in the Southland and number 7 of the top 20 Chicago suburbs. Oak Lawn by a mere percentage point trailed the suburbs of Skokie, Vernon Hills, Bolingbrook , and Arlington Heights in retail sales growth.
( RETAIL SALES CHANGE 2013-2014 )
CHICAGO METRO …….4.6% +
ALL CHICAGO SUBURBS..5.2%
TOP 20 CHICAGO SUBURBS..4.3%+
SOURCE: MA RETAIL SALES REPORT APRIL 2015