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Big Retailers Show Mixed Performance in San Clemente

Major retailers had mixed performances this year in San Clemente with shifting competition playing a major ongoing role affecting local stores.

For fiscal year 2012, the city of San Clemente took in $7.1 million in sales tax -- largely from gas stations and big retailers.

Though the exact figures are not public because of business competition, city officials late last month discussed in broad strokes how San Clemente's corporate retailers were faring.

City Manager George Scarborough said the largest chunk of the city's sales tax in 2012 came from gas stations, which saw soaring gas prices in the late summer and early fall.

He said Costco's adding gas pumps will likely cause San Clemente to take a hit in gas station sales tax revenue because Costco is within the borders of Dana Point and many San Clemente residents have memberships with the retailer.

Other big pieces of the pie come from Walmart, Target and Lowes. Interestingly, sales tax from Walmart dropped by 16 to18 percent, a plunge anticipated after the new Target opened last year, Scarborough said.

Target, however, is faring slightly poorer than other Orange County Targets in 2012, said City Treasurer Pall Gudgerisson, but management expects to make up those sales during the Christmas shopping season now underway.

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