Published July 1, 2001 | July 2001 issue
It might surprise some to know that the retail capital of South Dakota is not Sioux Falls. The state's largest city leads in most economic indicators for economic health and livability but ranked fourth in its ability to capture its "retail sales potential," according to an analysis by the South Dakota Labor Market Information Center in Aberdeen. Top honors fell to Rapid City, whose high ratio of taxable retail sales to personal income derives heavily from its proximity to Black Hills tourist attractions, said center analysts.
The study examined 1998 county-level data to gauge the per capita sales performance of the state's 66 counties. Codington County, which includes Watertown, came in second in capturing sales potential, and Davison County, home to Mitchell and the Corn Palace, ranked third. Union County in southeastern South Dakota, jumped between 1990 and 1998 from 57th to seventh, due to the growth of Gateway Computers and the Dakota Dunes residential/commercial center.