Figure 1. Change in per capita non-motor vehicle sales from 2018 to 2019.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau and Nebraska Department of Revenue, July 2020
Each summer, the Nebraska Department of Revenue releases information on non-motor vehicle retail sales that gives a snapshot of how Main Street is doing in each Nebraska community and county. We took that data and calculated county-level per-capita retail sales. In other words, what are the retail sales for each person residing in that county? Which counties fared the best from 2018 to 2019?
Hooker County saw the largest increase in per-capita retail sales, followed closely by Sarpy and Seward Counties. Chase, Cheyenne, Dixon, Arthur and Madison Counties saw the largest year-to-year decrease in per-capita retail sales. For some communities, the losses of Cabela’s headquarters (Cheyenne County) and Shopko stores (Madison, Holt, Lincoln, Box Butte, Custer, Dawson and Cherry Counties) have been detrimental to retail sales. In contrast, other communities such as Plattsmouth (Sarpy) and Holdrege (Phelps) have fared better despite Shopko closing its doors.