Bristol winning Tri-Cities retail race, new report says

(WJHL) -There’s new proof today that Bristol is the Tri-Cities’ new retail shopping destination of choice.

A report released Thursday shows record setting sales in the 2015 holiday shopping season with Bristol leading the region.

In Johnson City – the longtime retail sales leader in the Tri-Cities – fourth quarter sales were up 5.2% over the previous year.

In Kingsport, sales rose 4.8%.

That’s a great performance, but it pales in comparison to what happened in Bristol TN/VA where retail sales soared 19.4%.

It’s the third quarter in a row for double-digit retail sales growth in Bristol, according to the report prepared by ETSU’s Dr. Steb Hipple with the ETSU Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

“Overall, 2015 was the best year in local retailing since the Great Recession of 2008-09,” Hipple said.

For the year, retail sales rose 12.7% in Bristol compared to 5.4% in Kingsport and 4.5% in Johnson City.

Hipple says Bristol’s success is due in part to new stores opening in The Pinnacle and The Falls retail developments along Interstate 81.

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