Tuesday, 07 May 2019 08:44

Record-Breaking Spending Expected for Mother's Day

Written by

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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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

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

Another "Egg-Cellent" Easter Spending Season Expected

Written by

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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