Bannock retail falters, Bingham flourishes
Pocatello is falling well behind when it comes to retail sales. For every $3 spent in Idaho Falls retail there's just $1 spent in the gate city.
In general, Bannock County's economy does pretty well, but it's economic achilles heel may simply be sales.
"It's not the strong suit compared to some other areas,” Dept. of Labor Economist Dan Cravens said.
Cravens said there could be a number of reasons for Bannock County's retail results, from fewer store options, to the proximity of Salt Lake City.
But in other nearby cities, retail has prospered.
In the past five years total sales in Blackfoot jumped from about $600 million to more than $900 million.
"I don't have a real good answer. I looked at those numbers and my reaction was 'gee whiz!'” Cravens said.
Blackfoot business owner Shirley Brumfield said she thinks it comes down to people in Bingham County really caring about keeping their money local.
"I think Blackfoot is a unique little community. People shop local, they're really into the local thing. And if they can buy it here, they will,” Brumfield said.
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