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Retail Sales and Retail Sales Per Capita

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Economic Census, 2007. Updated every 5 years. http://www.census.gov/econ/census07

Definitions:

The retail trade sector comprises establishments engaged in retailing merchandise, generally without transformation, and rendering services incidental to the sale of merchandise. The retailing process is the final step in the distribution of merchandise; retailers are, therefore, organized to sell merchandise in small quantities to the general public. The 2007 Economic Census classifies businesses according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), 2007.

Sales include merchandise sold for cash or credit at retail and wholesale by establishments primarily engaged in retail trade; amounts received from customers for layaway purchases; receipts from rental of vehicles, equipment, instruments, tools, etc.; receipts for delivery, installation, maintenance, repair, alteration, storage, and other services; the total value of service contracts; and gasoline, liquor, tobacco, and other excise taxes which are paid by the manufacturer or wholesaler and passed on to the retailer.

Sales are net after deductions for refunds and allowances for merchandise returned by customers. Trade-in allowances are not deducted from sales. Sales do not include carrying or other credit charges; sales (or other) taxes collected from customers and forwarded to taxing authorities; gross sales and receipts of departments or concessions operated by other companies; and commissions or receipts from the sale of government lottery tickets.

Sales do not include retail sales made by manufacturers, wholesalers, service establishments, or other businesses whose primary activity is other than retail trade. They do include receipts other than from the sale of merchandise at retail, such as service receipts, sales to industrial users, and sales to other retailers by establishments primarily engaged in retail trade.

Scope and Methodology:

The 2007 Economic Census measured activity during calendar year 2007. Large- and medium-size firms, including all firms known to operate more than one establishment, and a sample of small employers were sent questionnaires to be completed and returned to the Census Bureau by mail or electronically. Most very small firms were not sent a form, and data from existing administrative records of other Federal agencies were used instead.

These data exclude governmental establishments except for retail liquor stores (NAICS 44531).

These data include only establishments with paid employees.

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