Wednesday, 05 April 2017 12:25

For Immediate Release: April 5, 2017
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 more than ever before this year, averaging $152 per person; 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 its 80th year in supporting Florida’s retail industry, says Floridians will increase their Easter spending to record levels this year, with the per person average expected to top $152, up four percent from 2016. The total expected to be spent nationally is $18.4 billion, up six percent from last year’s record of $17.3 billion and the highest in survey history.

“With Easter falling almost an entire month later than last year, that means warmer weather and more people in the mood to spend money to celebrate,” said FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “This is great news for Sunshine State retailers, and with more consumers spending more money, we expect stores to be busy in the days leading up to Easter.”

According to the survey, which was conducted by FRF’s national partners at the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend $5.8 billion on food (purchased by 87 percent of shoppers), $3.3 billion on clothing (50 percent), $2.9 billion on gifts (61 percent), $2.6 billion on candy (89 percent), $1.2 billion on flowers (39 percent), $1.1 billion on decorations (43 percent) and $788 million on greeting cards (48 percent).

The 50 percent of consumers planning to buy clothing is up from 45 percent last year and is the highest level in a decade while the $3.3 billion expected to be spent is up 9 percent from last year.

With shopping lists in hand, 58 percent of consumers will head to discount stores, 46 percent will go to department stores and 26 percent will shop at local small businesses. In addition, 27 percent will shop online, up from 21 percent last year. Among smartphone owners, 28 percent will research products on their devices while 18 percent will use their phones to make a purchase, while another 9 percent will use apps to do their research or purchase products.

Consumers plan to celebrate Easter in several different ways: 61 percent will visit family and friends, 57 percent will cook a holiday meal, 52 percent will go to church and 17 percent will go to a restaurant. Children will have plenty to look forward to after the Easter Bunny arrives: 35 percent of consumers will have an Easter egg hunt and 16 percent will open gifts. In addition, some consumers will celebrate with more leisurely activities: 43 percent will watch TV, 10 percent will shop online and 9 percent will head to the movies or shop in a store.

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. For more information, visit the FRF website, and follow FRF on Facebook and Twitter.

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Tuesday, 28 March 2017 13:52

For Immediate Release: March 28, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller jamThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

FRF, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and the Florida Chamber of Commerce sued City of Miami Beach over proposed ordinance increasing minimum wage in spite of state preemption; 11th Circuit Court rules in favor of business community

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Three leading business organizations celebrate today’s ruling by the 11th Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County invalidating the wage ordinance recently adopted by the City of Miami Beach. The Florida Retail Federation, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and Florida Chamber of Commerce filed the suit against the 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 suit was filed by Charles Caulkins of the South Florida law firm Fisher Philips LLC.

“This is great news for Florida retailers and the entire business community, as this ruling does not place an additional mandate on local businesses by requiring Miami Beach business owners to provide wages above what the state has previously established in law,” said R. Scott Shalley, FRF President & CEO. “We thank our coalition partners for their commitment to protecting businesses, and we look forward to doing our part to protect our members and ensure that Florida remains a great location to start and grow a business.”

“We applaud this ruling which preserves the strength of Florida’s tourism-based economy and substantiates our belief that local governments shouldn’t dictate the relationship between an employer and employee. This is a significant win for Florida’s hospitality industry and the 1.4 million employees the tourism industry supports. We hope this ruling will serve as a guiding beacon for the entire nation to follow in limiting regulatory overreach by local governments,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.

“The Florida Chamber of Commerce is focused on creating good jobs and opportunities, and today’s ruling will help ensure that a patchwork of government wage regulations and mandates doesn’t harm job seekers and small businesses from greater opportunities toward prosperity,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

The City of Miami Beach recently 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 state statute allows for local government entities to adopt ordinances to exceed this wage for those working or contracting with the local government.

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 are responsible for 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.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RESTAURANT AND 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.

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.

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Thursday, 09 March 2017 14:00

For Immediate Release: March 9, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Spending expected to exceed previous records, totaling $5.3 billion nationwide; Per person spending to reach almost $38

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association celebrating its 80th year in supporting Florida’s retail industry, announced today that spending for St. Patrick’s Day is expected to reach a record of $37.92 per person this year, which would set a record. The total amount spent nationally is expected to top $5.3 billion, up significantly from last year’s total of $4.4 billion.

“We continue to see spending on holidays and celebrations reaching or exceeding record highs, which reinforces the strength of our economy and the confidence that consumers feel,” said FRF President & CEO Scott Shalley. “Even though St. Patrick’s Day isn’t one of the bigger spending holidays, we still expect Florida retailers to see a nice bump in sales, particularly those who offer additional discounts and sales to attract customers.”

According to FRF’s partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, spending for St. Patrick’s Day is expected to reach $5.3 billion, an all-time high in the survey’s 13-year history. More than 139 million Americans plan to celebrate the Irish holiday, and are expected to spend an average of $37.92 per person, up from last year’s $35.37 and a new record that tops the previous record of $36.52 set in 2015. The $5.3 billion total is up dramatically from last year’s $4.4 billion and tops the previous record of $4.8 billion set in 2014.

According to the survey, 83 percent of celebrants will wear green to show their Irish pride, 31 percent plan to make a special dinner and 27 percent will head to a party at a bar or restaurant. Twenty-three percent will decorate their homes or offices in an Irish theme and 15 percent will attend a private party. In addition, 15 percent are planning to attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade, especially those living in the Northeast (21 percent).

The survey found that 52 percent of celebrants will purchase food, 41 percent beverages, 28 percent apparel or accessories, 22 percent decorations and 14 percent buy candy. Of those making purchases, 39 percent will go to grocery stores, 29 percent to discount stores, 21 percent to bars/restaurants and 18 percent to department stores.

The holiday is most popular among individuals 18-24 years old, with 77 percent celebrating, but those 25-34 will be the biggest spenders at an average $46.55.

The survey, which asked 7,609 consumers about their St. Patrick’s Day plans, was conducted February 1-8 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

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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Friday, 10 February 2017 14:30

For Immediate Release:February 9, 2017
CONTACT:James Miller This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Shalley to head the state’s premier retail trade association after leading the Florida Association of Counties; Current President/CEO Randy Miller to retire

Suni TALLAHASSEE, FL –The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association celebrating its 80th year in supporting Florida’s retail industry, announces the hire of a new President/CEO to lead the organization. Scott Shalley was chosen to lead FRF, as well as its sister organization the Georgia Retail Association, after a nationwide search. Shalley replaces current President/CEO Randy Miller who is retiring. Shalley will serve as only the 6th person to serve as both President and Chief Executive Officer in the 80 year history of FRF.

“We’ve been truly fortunate to have incredible leaders and visionaries to guide FRF in recent years, and we feel strongly that Scott has the experience in business development, association management and government affairs to step right in and make an immediate impact,” said FRF Board Chair Dan Doyle. “I want to thank Randy for the extremely important role he has played in making sure that he is leaving FRF in capable hands, and we know that the leadership team we have in place will be a tremendous asset to Scott as he takes our organizations to the next level.”

“I am honored and excited to lead the Florida Retail Federation and work with the top notch staff and dedicated board members” said Shalley. “I look forward to advocating on behalf of Florida’s 270,000 retailer to ensure the industry remains robust and that our member businesses continue to grow and succeed.”

Shalley comes to FRF from the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) where he served as Executive Director since 2015. Prior to that role, he served as Enterprise Director since 2012. As Executive Director, Shalley led an organization of Florida’s 67 member counties and 377 county commissioners, and managed a staff of 28. Prior to his time at FAC, Shalley was Executive Director of the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Florida) before joining the Figg Engineering Group as Vice President/Director of Business Management. He was at Figg for seven years, until moving to (FAC) in 2012.

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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Tuesday, 07 February 2017 10:54

For Immediate Release: February 7, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Total sales are expected to dip this year after peaking at last year’s record spending; Jewelry, an evening out at dinner/event, flowers, clothing and candy the most popular forms of gifts

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 decrease their Valentine’s Day spending slightly this year, which reverses a decade-long trend of increasing spending. The average consumer will spend $136.57 in 2017, down from last year’s record high of $146.84, but total spending nationally is still expected to reach a robust $18.2 billion.

“The slight decrease in spending is understandable given the record-breaking pace Valentine’s Day spending had reached the previous ten years,” said FRF President/CEO Randy Miller. “This day is still expected to mean significant revenues for Florida’s retailers as consumers shower their loved ones with gifts, flowers, candy, tickets to events and dinners at local restaurants.”

According to FRF’s partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insight and Analytics, starting at an average $119.67 for a total of $16.9 billion in 2007, Valentine’s spending grew most years over the past decade before hitting last year’s record. But the number of people surveyed who plan to celebrate the holiday has dropped by nearly 10 percentage points over the same period from 63 percent in 2007 to 54 percent this year.

This year’s survey found consumers plan to spend an average $85.21 on their significant other/spouse, $26.59 on other family members such as children or parents, $6.56 on children’s classmates/teachers, $6.51 on friends, $4.27 on co-workers, and $4.44 on pets.

Consumers plan to spend $4.3 billion on jewelry (given by 19 percent of shoppers), $3.8 billion on an evening out (37 percent), $2 billion on flowers (35 percent), $1.9 billion on clothing (19 percent), $1.7 billion on candy (50 percent), $1.4 billion on gift cards/gift certificates (16 percent) and $1 billion on greeting cards (47 percent).

Also popular this year are “gifts of experience” such as tickets to a concert or sporting event, a gym membership or an outdoor adventure. While 40 percent of consumers want an experience gift, only 24 percent plan to give one.

Consumers plan to shop at department stores (35 percent), discount stores (32 percent), online (27 percent), specialty stores (18 percent), florists (18 percent), and local small businesses (15 percent).

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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Wednesday, 01 February 2017 15:33

For Immediate Release: February 2, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

State’s leading advocate for retailers seeks nominations for deserving retail businesses; deadline for nominations is Monday, March 20

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association celebrating its 80th year in supporting Florida’s retail industry, is now accepting nominations for its prestigious Florida Retailer of the Year award, which recognizes an outstanding retailer for sound business practices, and a commitment to their employees, customers and communities. Nominations must be submitted by Monday, March 20.

“As FRF celebrates its 80th year in advocating and supporting Florida’s retailers, we are excited about recognizing the best our industry offers with our annual Retailer of the Year award,” said FRF President/CEO Randy Miller. “We ask all consumers to support their favorite retailer by nominating them for this prestigious award.”

Eligible retailers are those who either own or are employed by businesses with sales volume of $5 million or less and have a physical presence in the operation and/or management of the retail business. People interested in nominating a retailer may nominate more than one, self-nominations are allowed and the retailer does not have to be an FRF member. Nominations can be submitted online by visiting FRF.org/ROY and completing the nomination form, email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mail to 227 S. Adams St., Tallahassee, FL 32301.

The retailer selected as Retailer of the Year will be recognized before a statewide audience during the Retail Smarter Symposium Thursday, June 8 at the Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg. The Florida Retailer of the Year award was started in 1999, and was awarded last year to Lisa Mergel of Kanvas Spa & Boutique in Tallahassee.

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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Tuesday, 31 January 2017 13:35

For Immediate Release: January 31, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Floridians expected to shell out for food, drinks and decorations this year for Super Bowl LI, celebrating the unofficial end to another football season

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 75 years, says Florida families will spend an average of $75 per person to watch Super Bowl LI between the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots next weekend. The average cost per person is down slightly from last year’s number with total spending nationally expected to reach $14.1 billion.

“Floridians love their football more than just about any other state, and with the Super Bowl being the final game of the year, we expect fans to celebrate the end to great seasons in both professional and college football,” said FRF President & CEO Randy Miller. “The Super Bowl is truly a must-see event for Floridians whether they follow the sport closely or not, and we expect local consumers to load up on food, drinks and decorations for their game watching parties.”

According to FRF’s partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual Super Bowl Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, of the 76 percent of those surveyed who plan to watch the game, 80 percent say they will purchase food and beverages, 11 percent will buy team apparel or accessories, and 8 percent will splurge on new televisions to watch the game at home.

According to the survey, the 45 million people hosting a Super Bowl party should expect a full house, with 27 percent of those surveyed planning to attend a party to celebrate the big game. Bars and restaurants can also expect a good turnout with 12.4 million people planning to head out to watch at their favorite local spot.

Over 43 percent of viewers say the most important part is the game itself, 24 percent cite the commercials, 15 percent want to hanging out with friends, and 12 percent of say the half-time show is their top highlight.

The survey also found that 78 percent of viewers watch the commercials for entertainment and 18 percent say they make them more aware of the advertiser’s brand, but only 10 percent say the commercials influence them to purchase products. Sixteen percent say advertisers should save their money and pass the savings along to the consumers, and 10 percent say the commercials make the game last too long.

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. For more information, visit the FRF website, and follow FRF on Facebook and Twitter.

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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Thursday, 26 January 2017 17:01

FRF thanks Representative Jason Fischer who filed legislation in the Florida House of Representatives to establish a disaster preparedness sales tax holiday. Running from May 30, 2017 through June 5, 2017, this holiday will allow Floridians to purchase items such as flashlights, batteries, weather radios, generators and other essential items tax free.

Florida Retail Federation President and CEO Randy Miller stated, “After a decade without hurricanes, Florida got hit hard last year, and this legislation will help ensure Floridians protect themselves and their families following a disaster, while also allowing them to experience much needed tax relief. I want to thank Representative Fischer for sponsoring this important bill and recognizing the importance of having a disaster plan in place, which includes purchasing critical supplies like batteries, flashlights, radios and generators which will all be tax free.”

“Last fall, Hurricane Matthew crawled up the coast of Florida, hitting Northeast Florida particularly hard. Some of my constituents lost power for almost a full week following the storm. This bill relieves some of the financial burden of preparing for a natural disaster. I am proud to introduce legislation that is expected to save consumers $7 million,” stated Representative Fischer. “With millions of individuals moving to our great state every year, I want to ensure that natural disaster preparedness is at the forefront of people’s minds as dangerous weather begins to develop. This legislation encourages being prepared in advance, which could mean the difference between life and death,” stated Representative Fischer.

FRF looks forward to working with Representative Fischer and our legislative leaders in both chambers to ensure Florida retailers and Florida families experience the benefits that come with this tax-free holiday.

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Wednesday, 25 January 2017 11:36

Today, Governor Rick Scott announced during the “Fighting for Florida’s Future” Tax Cut Tour that he is proposing $618 million in tax cuts to help Florida families and small businesses, and ensure taxes are cut for Florida’s future generations. These tax cuts will encourage job creators to add more jobs and build opportunities now and in the future.

"Governor Scott's 'Fighting for Florida's Future' tax package includes a number of cuts which will significantly support Florida's retailers, including a reduction in the business rent tax, cutting the business tax and including an expanded back-to-school sales tax holiday among others," said FRF President & CEO Randy Miller. "FRF is excited about what the Governor's tax cut package will mean for growing Sunshine State businesses, creating new jobs for Florida families and ensuring our state remains competitive."

Governor Scott said, “While Florida’s economy has made great strides over the past six years, we have to continue to fight for Florida’s future and ensure our children and grandchildren have the opportunity to succeed in our great state. We know one of the best ways to do that is to keep cutting taxes, and even though we have already cut more than $6.5 billion in taxes, we can do more. That is why I am fighting for Florida families and our future generations by recommending to cut taxes by $618 million this year.

“When we cut taxes, it helps businesses create jobs – jobs that ultimately help the poorest, most disadvantaged families in our state. As I travel the state, I have been humbled by the stories of single parents, young students, new citizens and countless other Floridians who have shared with me how much of a difference a job has made in their life and in the lives of their families. These incredible stories are why we are fighting to secure a bright future for Florida, and cutting taxes will help make our state the top location for job creators to invest in for generations to come. I made a promise to keep fighting for jobs until my very last day as Governor, and I ask the Legislature to join me in fighting for the future of our students, our small businesses, our veterans and our families by cutting $618 million in taxes this year.”

Governor Scott’s “Fighting for Florida’s Future” tax cut package includes:

  • Decreasing the Tax on Business Rents by $454 Million – Florida is the only state that has a tax on commercial leases which unfairly targets small businesses. Governor Scott is proposing to reduce the tax on commercial leases by 25 percent in 2018, saving Florida businesses $454 million a year. Sales Tax Holidays to Save Families $98 Million – Governor Scott is proposing four sales tax holidays which will save Florida families an estimated $98 million in the upcoming fiscal year. These sales tax holidays include:
    • $72 million from a 10-day back-to-school sales tax holiday;
    • $7 million from a nine-day disaster preparedness sales tax holiday;
    • $18.4 million from a three-day veteran’s sales tax holiday; and
    • $500,000 from a one-day camping and fishing sales tax holiday.
  • Providing a One-Year Sales Tax Exemption on College Textbooks to Save Students $48 Million – Governor Scott is proposing to exempt the purchase of college textbooks from the sales tax for the 2017-18 academic year. The prices of college textbooks have increased significantly, often exceeding $100 per book. Exempting college textbooks from the sales tax is expected to save Florida students $48 million.
  • Cutting the Business Tax to Save Job Creators $15 Million – Governor Scott is proposing to exempt 22.5 percent of businesses from having to pay income taxes by increasing the corporate tax exemption from $50,000 to $75,000. Eliminating this tax will provide annual savings of $15 million and help more small businesses hire additional workers. This proposal will eliminate these taxes for more than 80 percent of Florida’s businesses. This exemption was increased from $5,000 to $25,000 in 2011 and $50,000 in 2012.
  • Exempting School Book Fairs from the Sales Tax to Save Families and Students $3 Million – Governor Scott is proposing to exempt the purchases of books at school book fairs from the sales tax, saving Florida families $3 million each year.

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Wednesday, 04 January 2017 10:43

For Immediate Release: January 3, 2017
CONTACTS: FRF - James Miller This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Florida’s leading advocate for the state’s 270,000 retail businesses heads into its eighth decade as strong, as diverse and as influential as it’s ever been; yearlong celebration planned

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier retail trade organization, announces a yearlong celebration of its 80th anniversary as the most impactful and influential retail advocacy group in Florida. FRF was founded in 1937 as the Florida Chain Store Association and 20 years later was renamed the Florida Retail Federation, where it’s remained as The Voice of Florida Retailing. In honor of the anniversary, FRF will feature key moments from the organization’s history on its website throughout the year, as well as incorporate an 80th anniversary logo in all of its hard copy collateral and online presence and celebrate the milestone during its many events in 2017.

“To see the growth and progress of FRF, from its humble beginnings in 1937 to the influential advocacy and support organization it’s become today, is a testament to the passion and determination of all of the employees and board members who played a part during the past 80 years,” said FRF President & CEO Randy Miller. “As we enter our eighth decade of successfully promoting and growing our industry and our members’ businesses, it’s important we reflect back and appreciate not only where the FRF started from, but to stay true to those same goals and ideals which laid the foundation for the organization.”

FRF initially started out as the Florida Chain Store Association, Inc., which was founded in 1937 as a counter to the wave of anti-business legislation that swept through Florida, culminating in a 1935 law that created one of the most discriminatory business taxes in the nation. Initially, the organization included just the largest chain store businesses in the state, but in 1941, the association expanded to include smaller chain stores. In 1947, the headquarters moved to Jacksonville, where most members were located.

By 1956, recognizing that all retailers shared common goals and facing competition from the similarly named “Florida State Retailers Association,” associate membership was extended to independently owned stores. In 1957, the Florida Chain Store Council reorganized as a division of the Florida State Chamber of Commerce, and by the end of the year its board approved a new name – Florida Retail Federation. On October 13, 1959, FRF was re-chartered as an independent non-profit organization. E. Colin Lindsey of Belk-Lindsey Stores, Inc., in Tampa, was elected the first president of the independent Florida Retail Federation on January 8, 1960. The group’s purpose, according to its charter, was to foster a closer relationship between the public and Florida’s retail merchants by conducting service and public relations programs, to provide non-partisan representation to all retailers – independent, chain, small and large – and to cooperate with all branches of the state and federal governments so that retailers could better serve the public.

The Florida Retail Federation Self Insurers Workers’ Compensation Fund was established on January 1, 1979. Administered by Summit in Lakeland, the fund sparked a relationship that proved significant in FRF’s history and grew into one of the foremost services to Florida retailers. In 1980, the decision was made to move the association headquarters to Tallahassee which office space secured at historic Gallie’s Hall, which was renovated and ready for occupancy in February 1982.

In 1996, a new CEO helped position FRF as a more proactive organization in legislative advocacy, a philosophy maintained today. FRF has continued to expand its member services, increasing revenue and further strengthening the position of FRF as a top-tier business advocacy organization. It’s also since launched a number of benefits and services programs that help retailers and businesses including OrdinanceWatch™, Florida BankCard Solutions, MEMBERS Comp Dividend Program, FRF Health Insurance Exchange and the Employers Health Network.