For Immediate Release: November 20, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

In spite of the impacts of Hurricane Irma on Florida, FRF is still predicting a 3-3.5% increase in sales over 2016, thanks to high consumer confidence, robust housing, a 10-yr low unemployment rate and 100+ million tourists

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association celebrating its 80th year of representing retailers, announced today it expects holiday sales to increase 3-3.5 percent over last year, thanks to a healthy economy and a number of positive economic indicators.

“This season should be another strong one for our retail members, thanks to a 10 year low unemployment rate, a strong housing market, high consumer confidence and 100 million tourists leaving with more than what they came with,” said FRF President/CEO Scott Shalley. “Due to the increased competition among retailers, consumers should expect great deals and discounts as they enjoy the annual holiday shopping season with friends and family.”

The impact of Hurricane Irma on Floridians played a significant factor in the final forecast number for FRF. The storm caused damage in major population areas in Southwest Florida, South Florida and the Keys and the Jacksonville area. Many residents are still recovering and possibly unable to spend as much on holiday shopping this year. However, the overall strength of Florida’s economy and the resilience of the state’s retail industry will help make up for this potential loss of sales.

“Hurricane Irma hit our state extremely hard, particularly in these areas, and we factored in this impact in our forecast, but we feel the overall strength of our economy and the incredible recovery efforts that have taken place will help lessen the impact on retail sales this holiday season,” said Shalley.

Consumers are expected to spend an average of $967 on gifts, according to FRF’s partners at the National Retail Federation, which is up significantly from 2016’s average of $935 and higher than the previous record of $952 in 2015. This breaks down to $608 spent on gifts for family, friends and co-workers, $218 spent on decorations, flowers and greeting cards, and $141 spent by the shopper on themselves. Total spending is expected to increase to more than $678 billion, up from $655 billion last year thanks in part to the continued growth and spending of Millennials.

Consumer spending accounts for 75 percent of Florida’s gross domestic product totaling $155 billion each year. In particular, the holiday shopping season accounts for 20-40 percent of a retailer’s annual sales and steady year-over-year sales shows increasing economy stability. Florida’s retail industry totals more than 270,000 businesses which employ 2.7 million Floridians, and is responsible for one out of every five jobs.

One continued significant advantage that Florida enjoys over most other states is the influx of more than 100 million tourists, almost all of whom leave the state with more than they brought, bringing even more buying power with them. Surveys consistently list shopping as one of the top activities on the agendas of Florida vacations. And in an effort to attract shoppers of all types, retailers will be offering exclusive incentives, low prices, price-matching options, hot-selling toys and free shipping, which continues to be one of the most popular requested promotions each year.

“Tourism continues to be a powerful influence on the success of Florida’s economy and specifically the retail industry, and 2017 is expected to set a new record on number of tourists which is great news for our members,” said Shalley.

Sunshine State shoppers will load up on the most popular items this year, led by gift cards for the 11th year in a row, followed by clothing and accessories, books, movies or music, electronics, home décor and furnishings and jewelry. The most popular toys this holiday season will include Hatchimals, Toys from the new Star Wars and Justice League movies, Barbies and LEGOS, Nerf toys, and toys from Disney Junior shows.

One piece of advice to shoppers is if you see a good deal on an item early on in your shopping, make sure to buy it then as opposed to waiting and hoping for a better deal. Just as technology has made shoppers smarter and more savvy, it has also allowed retailers to better respond to demand by matching their inventory and not overstocking their merchandise. Speaking of early shopping, 40 percent of shoppers began their holiday shopping before Halloween to help spread out their spending with 29 percent complete by Black Friday.

“Retailers are responding to the demand by consumers to have the holiday shopping experience prior to the traditional late November/December timeframe,” said Shalley. “This is why consumers are already seeing holiday decorations and themes in stores, as retailers try to get shoppers in the Christmas shopping mindset earlier.”

One of the positive impacts of the holiday shopping season is the increase in employment. These jobs include workers stocking inventory, customer service, warehousing and even management. Nationally, the industry is expected to see between 500,000-555,000 seasonal jobs. The increase in hiring and the increase in economic activity during the holiday season have a positive impact on industries outside of just retail.

“The holiday season is a great time for new or returning professionals to enter the workforce as millions of temporary jobs turn into full-time jobs once the holiday shopping season is over,” said Shalley. “We look forward to the thousands of new jobs that families will have this year as a result of Florida’s retail industry.”

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
Founded in 1937, the Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year. In fact, more than three out of four of Florida’s budget dollars come from retail-related activity.

Published in Media Relations

For Immediate Release: October 18, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Average person expected to spend $86 this year on Halloween candy, costumes, decorations and greeting cards; total spending nationally to set record of $9.1 billion

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 75 years, announced today that consumer spending on Halloween is expected to once again set an all-time high with the average person spending more than $86, up from $83 in 2016. Total spending nationally on Halloween is expected to reach $9.1 billion up from $8.4 billion last year.

“Another year of expected record spending on Halloween festivities is great news for Florida’s retailers,” said FRF President and CEO R. Scott Shalley. “The crafty retailers in our state will be able to scare up more sales by offering special discounts and other incentives to get more people in their stores to purchase costumes, decorations and candy.”

According to a recent survey done by FRF’s national partners at the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to spend an average of $86.13, up from last year’s $82.93, with 179 million Americans planning to partake in Halloween festivities, up from 171 million in 2016.

According to the survey, consumers plan to spend $3.4 billion on costumes (purchased by 69 percent of Halloween shoppers), $2.7 billion on candy (95 percent), another $2.7 billion on decorations (72 percent) and $410 million on greeting cards (37 percent).

According to Candystore.com, the most popular Halloween candy in the Sunshine State, based on sales data from 2007-2016, are Skittles (630,938 pounds sold), followed by Snickers (587,385) and Reese’s Cups (224,637). The top three most popular Halloween candies across the country are Skittles, Reese’s Cups and M&M’s.

Among Halloween celebrants, 71 percent plan to hand out candy, 49 percent will decorate their home or yard, 48 percent will wear costumes, 46 percent will carve a pumpkin, 35 percent will throw or attend a party, 31 percent will take their children trick-or-treating, 23 percent will visit a haunted house and 16 percent will dress pets in costumes.

Thirty-five percent of consumers will find their inspiration for the perfect costume online, while 30 percent will look in stores, 20 percent will ask friends and family, 18 percent will look to Facebook or Pinterest, 17 percent will be influenced by pop culture and 14 percent by print media.

When it comes to buying costumes and other Halloween supplies, 47 percent of shoppers will visit discount stores and 38 percent will go to a specialty Halloween store or costume store. In addition, 25 percent will visit supermarkets, 24 percent will buy at department stores and 22 percent will shop online.

Top Costumes
More than 3.7 million children plan to dress as their favorite action character or superhero, 2.9 million as Batman characters and another 2.9 million as their favorite princess while 2.2 million will dress as a cat, dog, monkey or other animal.

Costumes Ranked: Children
Action/Superhero 7.1%
Batman Character 5.5%
Princess 5.5%
Animal (Cat, Dog, Monkey, etc.) 4.1%
Spider-Man 3.6%
Star Wars Character 3.1%
Witch 3.0%
Marvel Superhero (excl. Spider-Man) 2.9%
Pirate 2.9%
Disney Princess 2.3%

Proving that Halloween isn’t just for kids, a record number of adults (48 percent) plan to dress in costume this year. More than 5.8 million adults plan to dress like a witch, 3.2 million as their favorite Batman character, 3 million as an animal (cat, dog, cow, etc.), and 2.8 million as a pirate.

Costumes Ranked: Adults
Witch
8.5%
Batman Character (Batman, Catwoman, Harley Quinn, etc.)
4.7%
Animal (Cat, Dog, etc.)

4.3%

Pirate 4.1%
Marvel Superhero (Spider-Man, Captain America, etc.)
3.8%
Vampire 3.1%
Zombie 2.6%
DC Superhero (excluding Batman, Wonder Woman) 2.3%
Star Wars Character 2.3%
Slasher Movie Villain (Jason, Scream, etc.)
2.3%
Wonder Woman
2.2%

 

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year.

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Published in Media Relations

For Immediate Release: June 27, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Average per person and total spending on food for cookouts and picnics up from 2016

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association celebrating its 80th year of supporting Florida’s retail industry, has good news for retailers this Independence Day weekend, with per person spending on food for cookouts and picnics expected to increase from last year with total spending on food nationally to exceed $7.1 billion. The numbers cover only food items, not other holiday-related spending.

“Independence Day weekend is the most popular time for family and friends to get together for cookouts, picnics and celebrations, and these survey numbers portend great things for retailers this year,” said FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “We continue to see year-over-year increases each shopping weekend in 2017, which shows that the economy is doing well and consumers are feeling confident about their own economic situation and willing to spend more this year.”

According to the annual survey released by FRF’s national partners at the National Retail Federation and conducted by Prosper Insight & Analytics, 219 million Americans plan to celebrate the holiday, or 88 percent of those surveyed. A total of 162 million — 66 percent of those surveyed — plan to take part in a cookout or picnic, spending an average $73.42 per person, up from last year’s $71.34.

The survey found that 65 percent of consumers already own a U.S. flag, 53 percent patriotic-themed apparel such as T-shirts, bathing suits or shoes, and 40 percent own patriotic decorations. Nonetheless, 28 percent plan on purchasing more patriotic items.

When it comes to other activities to celebrate Independence Day, 44 percent of Americans will attend a firework show or community celebration and 14 percent will watch a parade. The holiday weekend is also a popular time for travel, with 32.9 million Americans saying they will head out of town (13 percent of those celebrating), up from 31.1 million from last year. Only 18 percent say the price of gasoline will affect their plans, down from 21 percent last year and a record low since the survey began in 2004. The number who said high gas prices would discourage them from spending for Independence Day peaked at 59 percent in 2008.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION
As the world's largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, the National Retail Federation's global membership includes retailers of all sizes, formats and channels of distribution as well as chain restaurants and industry partners from the U.S. and more than 45 countries abroad. In the U.S., NRF represents the breadth and diversity of an industry with more than 1.6 million American companies that employ nearly 25 million workers and generated 2010 sales of $2.4 trillion. www.nrf.com.

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Published in Media Relations

For Immediate Release: June 13, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Dads to get showered with gifts in record-setting fashion this year; Meals, clothing, gift cards, electronics and personal care items top the list of popular options

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association celebrating its 80th year of supporting Florida’s retail industry, says Florida families will spend more than ever on Father’s Day this year. Consumers are expected to spend an average $134.75 for the holiday, up almost $10 from last year’s $125.92. Total spending nationwide is expected to reach $15.5 billion, the highest in the survey’s 15-year history and almost a billion more than last year.

“I am very encouraged to see that Floridians and families across the country are planning to spend more than ever before to celebrate the special dads in their lives,” said FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “These results show that Americans are feeling more and more confident and optimistic in this improving economy and dads and retailers can expect to benefit this Father’s Day.”

According to FRF’s partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insight and Analytics, consumers plan to spend $3.3 billion on special outings such as dinner, brunch or other types of a “fun activity/experience” (given by 48 percent). Clothing (given by 46 percent) and gift cards (given by 43 percent) are tied at $2.2 billion each while consumer electronics (given by 21 percent) follow at $1.8 billion. As with Mother’s Day, greeting cards are the most commonly purchased gift at 64 percent but account for only $861 million of projected spending. Other popular gifts include personal care, automotive accessories, books, music, home improvement/gardening supplies and sporting goods.

The survey found 27 percent of shoppers will opt for a “gift of experience” such as tickets to a concert or a sporting event. The largest projected growth category was for “personal care” items such as cologne, razors, aftershave, etc. where spending is expected to be 20% higher over last year.

When searching for the perfect gift, 40 percent of consumers will head to department stores and 34 percent will shop online while 26 percent will shop at a discount store, 24 percent at a specialty store and 19 percent at a local small business. Among smartphone owners, 33 percent will use them to research gift ideas but only 18 percent will use them to make a purchase. Tablets are used more frequently both to research (32 percent) and buy (19 percent).

More than half of those surveyed plan to buy for their father or stepfather (54 percent), while others will shop for their husband (29 percent) or son (10 percent).

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION
As the world's largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, the National Retail Federation's global membership includes retailers of all sizes, formats and channels of distribution as well as chain restaurants and industry partners from the U.S. and more than 45 countries abroad. In the U.S., NRF represents the breadth and diversity of an industry with more than 1.6 million American companies that employ nearly 25 million workers and generated 2010 sales of $2.4 trillion. www.nrf.com.

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Published in Media Relations

For Immediate Release: May 22, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Record amount expected to be spent on gift cards, greeting cards, apparel and electronics for Sunshine State graduates

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association celebrating its 80th year in supporting Florida’s retail industry, says Floridians will spend more than ever on graduation gifts this year. With more consumers buying for graduates this year – 36 percent compared with 34 percent in 2016 – total spending nationally is expected to reach $5.6 billion, topping last year’s record of $5.4 billion.

“Graduation is a significant achievement in someone’s life as they end one chapter and begin a new one, and recognizing this is important for a graduate's family and friends,” said R. Scott Shalley, FRF President & CEO. “With loved ones eager to celebrate this important milestone, we expect the gifts to Sunshine State graduates to reach record numbers this year, which is great news for Florida retailers.”

According FRF’s national partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the $5.6 billion total is the highest in the survey’s 11-year history. Cash will once again be the most popular gift, given by 53 percent of those surveyed as they seek to help students with the costly transition from high school to college or college to the “real world.” However, cash gifting is at a survey low in 2017, dropping about 10 percent from highs recorded in 2007 and 2009. Greeting cards follow at 41 percent, gift cards at 33 percent, apparel at 16 percent and electronics at 11 percent.

While ages 18-24 are the most likely to give a gift to graduates (at 48 percent), they maintain the smallest budgets at $78.42. The biggest spending is likely to come among parent-age 45-54-year-olds at $119.84 as well as those in the grandparent bracket of 65+, who plan to spend an average $112.34.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
Founded in 1937, the Florida Retail Federation is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year as the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide three out of every four jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year. In fact, more than three out of four of Florida’s budget dollars come from retail-related activity.

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Published in Media Relations
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