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University of Minnesota Extension

2017 retail trade analysis of Owatonna and Steele County

Key findings

Owatonna, Minnesota retail district
  • According to information from 2017 (the most recent available), Owatonna’s taxable retail and service sales increased 7.6 percent between 2014 and 2017, or about $20 million, reaching an estimated total of $282 million.
  • Clothing, leisure and restaurant categories showed the largest increase in sales dollars between 2014 and 2017. These categories each increased more than $6 million during that time period.
  • General merchandise stores decreased their taxable sales between 2017 and 2017. Despite this change, general merchandise remains the largest category, with about 21 percent of all taxable sales.
  • Per capita taxable sales in 2017 in Owatonna were estimated to be $12,684. This is about $3,000 more than the per capita sales average for the state ($9,306).

About this report

University of Minnesota Extension developed its retail trade analysis program to assist with the economic development of Minnesota communities. Reports are available for all Minnesota counties, for most cities with a population of more than 5,000, and for a few cities with a population fewer than 5,000. This report is also useful for identifying opportunities to provide new or expanded goods and services.

Owatonna and Steele County's retail sector can be evaluated by comparing its trends to those of similar jurisdictions. When compared with other Minnesota communities in its size class, Owatonna performs well — it brings in 16 percent more in sales than expected. Some business categories, such as leisure goods, general merchandise and grocery are bringing people to town to shop. Business opportunities exist, however, as local consumers do shop outside the community for some goods and services, such as electronics, furniture, building materials, and vehicles and parts.

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Ryan Pesch, Extension educator; Jennifer Hawkins, Extension educator

Reviewed in 2020

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