Monday, 22 May 2017 12:00

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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Tuesday, 16 May 2017 10:46

Preparing for the Sales Tax Holiday

We are very pleased that our work with the Florida Legislature ultimately included provisions for a Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday during the 2017 session. This sales tax holiday will encourage Floridians to stock up on the supplies they need to be prepared for the hurricane season and other potential disasters.

This holiday is coming up VERY SOON! The bill is currently waiting for Governor Scott’s signature to make it official, but we wanted all of our members to be well aware of the details of the holiday so that you can prepare and make the most of this event in your stores. We have reached out to the Department of Revenue to inquire when we can expect to receive the TIP sheet on this event. In the meantime, here are the details that you may need to get ready.

When is the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday?
12:01 a.m. on June 2, 2017, through 11:59 p.m. on June 4, 2017

What items fall under the sales tax holiday?
During the period of time listed above, sales tax should not be collected on the following items:

  • A portable self-powered light source selling for $20 or less.
  • A portable self-powered radio, two-way radio, or Weatherband radio selling for $50 or less.
  • A tarpaulin or other flexible waterproof sheeting selling for $50 or less.
  • A self-contained first-aid kit selling for $30 or less.
  • A ground anchor system or tie-down kit selling for $50 or less.
  • A gas or diesel fuel tank selling for $25 or less.
  • A package of AA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt, or 9-volt batteries, excluding automobile and boat batteries, selling for $30 or less.
  • A nonelectric food storage cooler selling for $30 or less.
  • A portable generator used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage selling for $750 or less.
  • Reusable ice selling for $10 or less.

Does everyone who sells these items have to participate?
The tax exemptions do not apply to sales of the above items that take place in theme parks or entertainment complexes, lodging establishments, or airports. Every other retailer must provide the sales tax exemptions on the items above during the designated time period.

When we receive further details from the Department of Revenue, we will send it out immediately. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017 13:41

For Immediate Release: May 10, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association is representing retailers for over 75 years, is expecting consumers to spend more than ever this year on gifts for mom’s. Mother’s Day shoppers will spend a whopping $186.39 on average this year, up from last year’s $172.22 average. Total spending is expected to reach $23.6 billion.

“We are extremely encouraged by the record high projections for Mother’s Day shopping this year which not only shows the great appreciation we have for moms but also the overall confidence of our consumers and strength of our economy,” stated R. Scott Shalley, CEO and President of the Florida Retail Federation. “Florida’s retailers are constantly rising to meet the demands of their consumers and that will be no different this year as they are preparing for this very exciting and busy holiday.”

According to FRFs partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual survey, conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, this year's per person spending is the highest in the survey’s 14-year history. Consumers plan on spending $5 billion on jewelry, $4.2 billion on special outings such as dinner or brunch, $2.6 billion on flowers, $2.5 billion on gift cards, $2.1 billion on clothing, $2 billion on consumer electronics, and $1.9 billion on personal services. The most significant increases from last year are in jewelry spending, which is up 19%, and personal services which are up 15%.

The survey also found a difference in shopping habits based on the age of both the consumer as well as the recipient. For example, “gifts of experience,” such as tickets to a concert, continue to be on the rise with 28% desiring such gifts and nearly half of the consumers surveyed under age 35 plan on giving such a gift. According to the survey, 35% of consumers will head to department stores, and 31% will shop at specialty stores such as florists, jewelers, or electronic stores, while 24% will shop at a small local business. As for online shopping, the survey found that 30% of consumers are expected to shop online, which is up from 27% last year.

The survey asked 7,406 consumers about their Mother’s Day plans and was conducted April 4-11 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 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.

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 Sates 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, retails is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

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Tuesday, 09 May 2017 08:44

For Immediate Release: May 8, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

TALLAHASSEE, FL – As the 2017 Legislative Session comes to a close, three days later than expected, the Florida Retail Federation (FRF) is celebrating several major accomplishments for retailers including the passage of a reduction in the business rent tax and 3-day sales tax holidays for back to school and disaster preparedness. FRF also successfully opposed several proposals which would have been harmful to the retail industry, such as allowing prejudgment interest on personal injury awards and weakening criminal penalties on the backs of retailers. We also had major wins for the Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association (FPMA) and our Beauty Industry Council.

“I am extremely proud of the way our retailers, stakeholders, and association staff worked with the Legislature to accomplish so many of our goals this year,” said FRF’s President and CEO R. Scott Shalley. In all, FRF actively advocated for or against more than 40 pieces of legislation and numerous budget issues. “We continue to prove that our industry remains strong and continues to be a major economic contributor--leading in job growth and many other economic indicators,” added Shalley.

In general business, FRF was successful in opposing burdensome regulations from being passed on to retailers, such as a minimum wage requirement, a measure to increase the number of parking spaces at certain retail establishments, and a measure that would interfere with the relationship between a franchisee and franchisor. FRF also worked to oppose a measure that would allow a utility company to pursue fracking for natural gas in other states and pass 100% of the costs along to consumers. Additionally, FRF was successful in advocating for the passage of a bill that provides greater legal protections to businesses who are subject to ADA lawsuits.

FRF also saw major legislative accomplishments in the areas of identity theft prevention with the approval of a measure to enhance penalties for committing “skimmer” fraud. FRF also played a key role in defeating a measure to weaken criminal penalties for theft. Additionally, a measure to prevent EBT card purchases for candy and soft drinks was defeated due to FRF’s strong opposition. “All of our retailers--from general business, pharmacy, small grocers, and the FPMA-- will benefit from our collective advocacy efforts this session. We look forward to continuing our work, and we are already beginning to gear up for next year,” concluded CEO Shalley.

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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Monday, 01 May 2017 14:06

For Immediate Release: May 1, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Below is a quote from FRF President & CEO R. Scott Shalley regarding the legislature's recent decision NOT to fund the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday:

"The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) applauds Legislative leaders for their work on the 2017 tax package. We are, however, concerned to learn that the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday has been omitted from the current proposal.

The entire State of Florida was affected by hurricanes in 2016. This Tax Holiday provides an extra incentive to consumers to ensure that Floridians are prepared and protected from dangerous storms. Proper preparation saves money and lives. We strongly encourage legislative leaders to reconsider this decision and include the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday in their final tax package.”

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, 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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