Monday, 22 May 2017 12:00

Graduation Spending to Hit Record High This Year

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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

Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

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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

Mother's Day Spending to Break Records in 2017

Written by

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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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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