Tuesday, 07 May 2019 08:44

For Immediate Release: May 6, 2019
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Highest spending amount ever expected this year as families celebrate moms with gifts, jewelry, events, flowers andmore

TALLAHASSEE, FL - The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 80 years, says record spending is expected for this Mother’s Day as per person spending should come close to $200. Total spending nationally is expected to exceed $25 billion, also a record.

“Mother’s Day has traditionally been one of the highest per person spending events, and this year is no different as we expect records to be broken both locally and nationally,” said FRF President & CEO R. Scott Shalley. “Floridians are excited to celebrate mothers, and we are eager to see how retailers respond to this record-setting demand for gifts, jewelry, flowers and more.”

Mother’s Day spending is expected to total a record $25 billion this year, up from $23.1 billion in 2018, according to FRF’s partners at the National Retail Federation’s recent survey. A total 84 percent of U.S. adults are expected to celebrate in honor of their mothers and other women in their lives.

While the number of people celebrating Mother’s Day is in line with last year's86 percent, those celebrating are expected to spend more at an average $196 compared with $180 in 2018. Consumers ages 35-44 are likely to spend the most at an average of $248, up from $224, and men are likely to spend more than women at $237 compared with $158.

Newer models of gift-giving including special outings and gift cards are growing, in addition to more traditional gifts including flowers, greeting cards, and jewelry. Increased spending on jewelry represents 31 percent of the expected increase over last year.

According to the survey, consumers plan to purchase the following for Mother’s Day:

Gift category

Percent planning to purchase

Expected average
per person spending*

Expected total spending*

Greeting card(s)

75%

$6.64

$843 million

Flowers

67%

$20.31

$2.6 billion

Special outing

55%

$36.41

$4.6 billion

Gift card(s) & certificates(s)

45%

$20.65

$2.6 billion

Clothing or clothing accessories

38%

$18.07

$2.3 billion

Jewelry

35%

$40.87

$5.2 billion

Personal service

24%

$15.80

$2 billion

Housewares or gardening tools

20%

$8.82

$1.1 billion

Books or CDs

20%

$4.28

$544 million

Consumer electronics

15%

$17.15

$2.2 billion

Other

24%

$7.48

$950 million

(* These are national numbers)

Many of those celebrating cited finding something unique (44 percent) as the most important factor when picking out a Mother’s Day gift, followed by one that creates a special memory (39 percent). More than 8 in 10 (81 percent) indicate they will look to retailers for gifting inspiration.

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
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

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Monday, 29 April 2019 11:05

A state Senate bill that would do just that has met with resistance.

As the legislative session winds down, several good ideas appear destined to fall short of the finish line. One of those good ideas: Requiring online retailers to collect sales taxes. It’s another missed opportunity to level the playing field.

For too long, only retailers with a physical presence in the state had to collect the tax. Their online-only counterparts didn’t. Talk about a competitive disadvantage. The set-up is obviously one-side, but many so-called pro-business legislators still don’t get it.

A tax package moving through the Florida Senate would end the unfairness. The legislation, SB 1112, requires nearly every online retailer to collect the state’s 6 percent sales tax, a move that would net the state about $700 million a year. The bill exempts online companies that sell less than 200 items or $100,000 worth of goods.

For years, U.S. Supreme Count opinions from the 1960s and 1990s prevented states from forcing retailers with no physical locations in the state to collect the tax. Doing so would interfere with interstate commerce, the court concluded. But pressure mounted as online giants such as Amazon captured ever-larger slices of the retail pie and states lost out on needed tax revenue. In 2000, online sales made up less than 2 percent of overall retail sales, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Last year, it was nearly 30 percent.

Floridians who made online purchases from out-of-state retailers were supposed to remit the sales tax directly to the state, but that wasn’t well known and very few people complied. Last year, the Supreme Court woke up to the new economic realities. In a 5-4 opinion, the court said states could require retailers without a physical presence to collect the tax. The change should have been welcome news in Florida, which doesn’t have an income tax and relies more heavily on sales tax revenue. Other states, including Georgia, Colorado and Illinois, already have gone ahead with plans to make online retailers collect the tax.

This isn’t a new tax. The Senate bill simply closes a loophole. Still, the bill, sponsored by Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, has met resistance from his fellow Republicans, who don’t want to look like they are raising taxes.

To his credit, Gruters has pushed back against that misconception and even included a list of tax cuts to offset the extra revenue. He favors slashing the sales tax on commercial rent payments from 5.7 percent to 4.2 percent, which would save business renters about $450 million a year. The bill would also create a 14-day sales tax holiday for disaster preparedness and supplies, and provide a tax cut to insurers that cover remote visits with doctors, known as “telehealth.”

Amazon finally began collecting and remitting the tax on many of its sales in 2014, as it began opening warehouses in Lakeland and other parts of the state. But other sites like Wayfair have resisted.

The time has come to restore free market principles. Fairness demands it. READ MORE

Tampa Bay Times Editorial
www.tampabay.com

Friday, 26 April 2019 15:14

For Immediate Release: April 25, 2019
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Shoaf’s diverse and successful business experience, combined with his passion for Florida, makes him the choice for Florida’s premier retail industry association

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) PAC today announced its endorsement of Jason Shoaf for the Florida House. Shoaf, a Republican, is running for House District 7 encompassing parts of Calhoun, Franklin, Gulf, Jefferson, Lafayette, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla and Leon counties.

“As a native Floridian and someone with extensive experience in the business world, Jason knows what retailers need to succeed,” said FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “Jason will do a great job representing Florida’s business community and we look forward to working with him to support Florida’s retail industry.”

Shoaf, born and raised in Port St. Joe, is currently a vice president in the St. Joe Natural Gas Company, which provides natural gas and propane services to homes and businesses in the region. He also served as the company’s Vice Chairman where he advocated for businesses with local and state leaders. From his time as an independent realtor to a leader in a large, successful company, Jason’s experience in the private sector will be crucial in ensuring Florida remains one of the most pro-business states in the nation.

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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Monday, 15 April 2019 15:40

For Immediate Release: April 15, 2019
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Consumers expected to spend $151 per person, down slightly from last year, but still the second-highest all-time; Food, clothing, candy, flowers and decorations lead the way in popularity

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association celebrating more than 80 years of supporting Florida’s retail industry, expects spending on Easter to reach near record numbers, with the average per person spending $151, second highest in survey history. The total expected to be spent nationally is a healthy $18.11 billion, a slight dip from last year’s total of $18.16 billion.

“Our economy remains strong and consumers have more money in their pockets to spend," said FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “Consumers will be looking for the best deals on candy, decorations, flowers and cards. The savviest retailers will take advantage of this robust spending.”

According to the survey, which was conducted by FRF’s national partners at the National Retail Federation, consumers are also projected to spend $5.74 billion on food, $3.27 billion on clothing, $2.87 billion on gifts, $1.29 billion on flowers, just over $1 billion on decorations and $780 million on greeting cards.

With nearly 80 percent of survey respondents expected to celebrate, shoppers are projected to spend a little more on average: $151.25 in 2019 vs. $150.05 in 2018. This year’s projection just missed 2017’s record average of $151.91.

Eighty-seven percent of Easter shoppers are expected to buy candy, spending $2.49 billion. That’s down from $2.63 billion in 2018.

More than half of consumers (54 percent) plan to cook a holiday meal, while 16 percent will let a restaurant handle holiday food preparations. Less than half (49 percent) of shoppers will attend church on Easter, and 15 percent will open gifts. Just under a third of consumers are planning an Easter egg hunt for the little ones in their lives.

A subset of shoppers — 21 percent of survey respondents — don’t plan to celebrate Easter, but that won’t stop them from hitting post-holiday sales. Nearly half (48 percent) plan to spend after Easter at an average of $19.

The survey revealed younger adults are especially excited for Easter, with 85 percent of survey respondents ages 18-34 and 80 percent of respondents ages 35-54 planning to celebrate.

Shoppers under 35 are also more inclined to hop on their smartphones to assist in Easter shopping. In 2015, 24 percent of these consumers planned to use smartphones to help with purchasing decisions around the holiday. It jumped to 37 percent in 2019.

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.

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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Tuesday, 02 April 2019 10:16

RILA Contact: Jason Brewer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (703) 600-2044
For Immediate Release
FRF Contact: James Miller This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (321) 229-9266

Arlington, VA - Following the success of legislation and executive action in more than 35 states across the country, retailers continue to applaud governors and state legislators for acting swiftly to close the online sales tax loophole.

State action on this long-standing priority for the retail community followed the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc, which determined that states can collect and remit sales tax from out of state sellers who sell certain amounts, either by transactions or revenue, into a state. In the immediate aftermath of the Court’s ruling, states began the process of reviewing and updating their existing statutes to begin the process of requiring remote sellers to begin sales tax collection.

“Both red and blue state lawmakers have acknowledged that this is about restoring free-market principles and that no government should be in the business of picking winners and losers with the tax code,” said Jason Brewer, Executive Vice President for Communications and State Affairs. “In addition to restoring basic fairness, these laws help ensure that state and local governments have the ability to fund important priorities without raising taxes.”

“In the wake of the WayFair ruling, states have proceeded with extreme thoughtfulness to ensure state laws follow the spirit of the Court’s ruling. These laws are an important boost for local retailers that create jobs and invest in the community."

R. Scott Shalley, president & CEO of the Florida Retail Federation, added, “We are glad to see these state legislatures taking action to support those retailers that invest in their respective states. Given Florida’s longstanding history of being business friendly, we remain optimistic that the Florida Legislature will soon follow suit and level the playing field for Florida’s 270,000 retailers.”

ICYMI: R. Scott Shalley: Let us Compete

About the Retail Industry Leaders Association

RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to reimagine and transform the retail ecosystem - and equip leading retailers to succeed in it.

RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

About the Florida Retail Federation,
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing 270,000 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. For more information, visit the FRF website, and follow FRF on Twitter.

RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to reimagine and transform the retail ecosystem - and equip leading retailers to succeed in it.

RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

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Tuesday, 19 February 2019 09:58

Important information regarding February and March SNAP benefits

SNAP customers who are not renewing in February will receive half of their March benefits on March 1, 2019 and half on their regularly assigned day.

When will SNAP customers who are renewing benefits in February receive their benefits?

  • If the customer's renewal is approved by February 16th for the month of March, half of their benefits benefits will be distributed on March 1st and the other half on their regularly assigned day.
  • If the customer's renewal is approved on or after February 17th for the month of March, their case will be processed as usual and full benefits for March will be available on their regularly assigned day.
  • New approved applications will be processed as usual and March benefits will be available on the assigned day.
  • Click here to download the SNAP customer split issuance FAQ flyer.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 08:46

For Immediate Release: February 11, 2019
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Even though fewer consumers plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, those who are plan on spending a record amount this year, averaging $162 per person

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 80 years, says that in spite of fewer consumers showering a special someone with flowers and gifts for Valentine’s Day, the average spent per person is expected to reach a record high of $162, for a total nationally of almost $21 billion in sales.

“Another special event on the calendar and another spending record is expected, once again reinforcing the strength of the economy both statewide and nationally,” said FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “More consumers are employed with more money to spend, meaning great sales opportunities for retailers throughout Florida.”

Thanks to a survey done by FRF’s partners at the National Retail Federation, those surveyed said they would spend an average $161.96. That’s up 13 percent from last year’s $143.56 and easily tops the previous record of $146.84 set in 2016. Total spending is expected to be $20.7 billion, which is an increase of 6 percent over last year’s $19.6 billion and breaks the previous record of $19.7 billion, also set in 2016.

The spending increases come even though only 51 percent of Americans plan to celebrate the holiday, down from 55 percent last year and a high of 63 percent in 2007. It is unclear why the number of consumers celebrating has trended downward over the past 12 years, but spending, while varying with the economy, has generally trended up. The lowest spending during the period was $102.50 in 2009 during the Great Recession.

Of the $18.40 increase in average spending, only $4.26 comes from spending on spouses and significant others, which is expected to total $93.24. Consumers said they would spend $29.87 on other family members, up $4.58; $9.78 on friends, up $2.59; $8.63 on children’s classmates or teachers, up $1.37; $7.78 on co-workers, up $2.99; $6.94 on pets, up $1.44 and $5.72 on others, up $1.17.

As in each year of the survey, men are the biggest spenders at $229.54, up 20 percent from last year. That’s more than double the $97.77 women said they would spend, which is down 1 percent, and is within the survey’s margin of error.

Among age groups, those 35-44 are the biggest Valentine spenders at $279.14, followed by those 25-34 at $239.07. Both groups typically have more people to buy for including children and children’s classmates or teachers.

Gifts for pets continue to be popular, purchased by 20 percent. Pet spending is expected to total $886 million, up $519 million since NRF first asked in 2008.

Those celebrating plan to spend $3.9 billion on jewelry (given by 18 percent), $3.5 billion on an evening out (34 percent), $2.1 billion on clothing (18 percent), $1.9 billion on flowers (35 percent), $1.8 billion on candy (52 percent), $1.3 billion on gift cards (15 percent) and $933 million on greeting cards (44 percent). Gifts of experience such as tickets to an event or a trip to a spa are wanted by 40 percent and planned to be given by 25 percent.

“With so many different ways to show your love for someone – from flowers to candy to gift cards to jewelry – Sunshine State retailers have everything someone would need to make their Valentine’s Day special,” said Shalley.

Department stores are the most popular Valentine’s Day shopping destination, visited by 35 percent of shoppers, followed by discount stores (32 percent), online (27 percent), specialty stores (18 percent) florists (16 percent), small or local businesses (14 percent), jewelry stores and specialty clothing stores (each 9 percent).

Even among those who don’t plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day as such, 11 percent plan to treat themselves to gifts like clothing or jewelry and 9 percent plan to get together with other single friends or family.

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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Wednesday, 06 February 2019 16:15

For Immediate Release: February 5, 2019
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

The Court decided not to hear an appeal from the City of Miami Beach over its proposed increase in the minimum wage, deferring to an already existing state legislative preemption; FRF, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association celebrate the ruling on behalf of Florida’s business community

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Supreme Court today decided not to hear an appeal by the City of Miami Beach regarding a wage ordinance adopted by the city, signaling a significant victory for three of Florida’s leading business organizations. The Florida Retail Federation, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association originally filed suit in circuit court against an ordinance proposing to raise the minimum wage in spite of a state preemption, because it was not valid under section 218.077 F.S. which preempts local minimum wages. The City then appealed that ruling to the Florida Supreme Court. The suit was filed by Charles Caulkins of the South Florida law firm Fisher Philips LLC.

“We want to thank the attorney general and the solicitor general for intervening on our behalf in this case, as well as our coalition partners for their collaboration and commitment to ensuring Florida business owners remain free to decide how to best successfully run their own businesses,” said R. Scott Shalley, FRF President & CEO.

“The Florida Chamber of Commerce is pleased that Florida’s highest court agreed that Miami Beach’s ordinance was unconstitutional. Today’s Florida Supreme Court action serves as a proof point to other local governments that a patchwork of mandated wage regulations are against the law," said Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce.

“We are pleased that the Supreme Court recognized the constitutionality of the statute that establishes one consistent state-wide minimum wage. This ruling provides economic stability across the state and protects the rights of business owners to pay wages that their local markets demand," said Carol B. Dover, CEO / President of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.

In December 2016, the City of Miami Beach passed a city ordinance to raise the minimum wage to $10.31/hour starting January 1, 2018, and increase it $1.00/year until it reaches $13.31 in 2021. FRF and its coalition partners argued that the ordinance disregarded a state statute which established the State of Florida will determine one consistent minimum wage for the entire state. This statute allows for local government entities to adopt ordinances to exceed this wage for those working or contracting with the local government. The case was originally heard by the 11th Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County which ruled on March 28, 2017, that the ordinance was unconstitutional.

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 FLORIDA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RESTAURANT & LODGING ASSOCIATION
FRLA is Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality industry trade association. Our mission is to ‘Protect, Educate and Promote’ Florida’s $108.8 billion hospitality industry which represents 1.4 million employees - making it the state’s number one industry. We offer regulatory compliance and food safety training needs (RCS and SafeStaff®); industry developed career-building high school programs (FRLAEF); sponsor the only event in Florida exclusively serving the restaurant and foodservice industry (FR&L Show, September 10-12, 2017 in Orlando); and we safeguard the needs of the hospitality industry by providing legislative advocacy. We represent and serve more than 10,000 independent and household name members, suppliers, and theme parks. For more information, go to www.FRLA.org and find us on Twitter @FRLAnews, Facebook and YouTube.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019 14:32

For Immediate Release: January 29, 2019
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

More than $81 per person expected to be spent this year on food, drinks and decorations, as lure of the Super Bowl continues to attract everyone from diehard football fans to casual viewers

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 80 years, says Florida families will spend an average of $81.30 per person to watch Super Bowl LIII between the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots. The average cost per person is up slightly from 2018 and the second-highest on record, with total spending nationally expected to surpass $14.8 billion.

“The Super Bowl continues to be must-watch television for both loyal fans and those that haven’t watched a game all season,” said R. Scott Shalley, FRF President & CEO. “Consumers will stock up on food and drink as well as apparel and even new televisions. Florida’s retailers stand ready to provide everything needed for Super Bowl Sunday.”

According to FRF’s partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual Super Bowl Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average spending is virtually unchanged from last year’s $81.17 and is the second-highest in the history of the survey after a record of $82.19 set in 2016. The total amount is down from last year’s $15.3 billion, primarily because fewer people plan to watch the game – 182.5 million this year compared with 188.5 million last year. The overall spending is still the third-highest on record, after last year’s figure and $15.5 billion in 2016.

The biggest spenders are those ages 35-44 at an average $123.26 while the lowest are those 65 and older at $40.97. Viewers in the Northeast plan to spend the most, at an average $94.89, followed by the West at $84.01, the South at $79.09 and the Midwest at $69.24.

“With Florida historically matching or exceeding national averages, this helps reinforce the strength of our economy. Florida retailers are excited about the opportunities provided by the biggest television event of the year,” said Shalley.

The survey found that 72 percent of adults plan to watch the game, down from 76 percent last year. Among those watching, 79 percent plan to buy food and beverages, 10 percent team apparel and accessories, 7 percent decorations, also 7 percent for new televisions, and 4 percent furniture such as entertainment centers.

Close to a quarter (24 percent or 61 million) plan to attend a party, while 17 percent (44 million) will throw one while 5 percent (13 million) will watch in a bar or restaurant. The largest share of those watching (43 percent) say the game is the most important part of the event, but 23 percent cite the commercials, 14 percent getting together with friends, 13 percent the halftime show and 7 percent the food.

The survey found that 76 percent see the commercials as entertainment and that only 10 percent say they are influenced to make a purchase, but the ads carry more weight among younger viewers. Of those ages 18-24, 17 percent say the commercials influence them to buy and 16 percent are prompted to search online for more information.

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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Tuesday, 18 December 2018 11:33

For Immediate Release:December 18, 2018
CONTACT:James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

All indications show that Florida’s holiday shopping season is in line with the national average of a 4.3% increase so far over 2017, and is on track to exceed FRF’s prediction of a 4.5% increase

TALLAHASSEE, FL –The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 80 years, feels confident its prediction of a 4.5% increase in holiday shopping sales over 2017’s numbers will come to fruition if not exceed it. With just one week left before Christmas, Florida’s retailers are experiencing the benefits of a healthy state economy with more residents employed.

“With so many positive economic indicators driving Florida’s economy, particularly our 10-year low unemployment rate, we expected this holiday shopping season to be robust, and so far it’s exceeding our expectations and those of our members,” said FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “We were worried about what the record high online spending during the Thanksgiving holiday stretch would mean for December, but with stores full of shoppers and millions of online orders being filled each day, it looks like our strong start may be met with an equally strong finish.”

FRF’s partners at the National Retail Federation said sales are up 4.3 percent nationally over the same period a year ago, and up 5 percent for the entire year so far. FRF predicted a 4.5 percent increase during the holiday shopping season thanks to numerous positive statewide economic indicators including the lowest unemployment rate in more than a decade, strong consumer confidence, record-breaking tourism, a hot housing market and more shoppers with more money to spend.

Consumers are expected to spend a record $1,007.24 on gifts this holiday season, which is up considerably over 2017’s total of $967, which was the previous record. 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.

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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