FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOVEMBER 15, 2021
CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 680-9262

Tallahassee, FL – This season of yuletide greetings is poised to break holiday retail records as 2021 sales are estimated between $843.3 billion and $859 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. A recent survey forecasts that sales from November to December will grow between 8.5 percent and 10.5 percent compared to 2020 sales.

This boost in sales could be attributed to the 90 percent of shoppers that enthusiastically plan to participate in winter holiday celebrations this year. 

"Florida shoppers are delighted to spend time with family and friends this holiday season," shares Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. "Our retailers are ready and here to help you have the best shopping experience as you browse for gifts, decorations and everything you need for your holiday celebrations. We encourage shoppers to Find it in Florida when gearing up for the holidays."

More than ever shoppers are excited about this holiday season. Nearly 50% of consumers have already started their holiday shopping.

Consumers will spend on average $998 for this year's winter holiday season. Of that total, shoppers will spend on average $648 for gifts and $231 on non-gift items related to the holiday festivities, including food, candy, decorations and Christmas cards. About $118 will be spent on other non-gift purchases.

When asked about the ideal gift of 2021, 56% of shoppers responded that gift cards are highest on their wish list. Other top gifts include:

  • Clothing and accessories - 47%
  • Books and other media - 32%
  • Electronics - 26%
  • Home decor - 23%
  • Personal care - 20%
  • Jewelry - 20%
  • Home improvement - 16%
  • Sporting goods - 16%
  • Other - 7%

While 57% of shoppers plan to purchase items online, the shift to in-store shopping is expected as many Floridians are excited to participate in the traditional holiday shopping experience. This year’s top holiday shopping destinations include: 

  • Department stores - 47%
  • Discount stores - 44%
  • Grocery stores - 43%
  • Clothing & accessories stores - 30%
  • Local retail stores or small businesses - 24%

"Florida retailers are ready to help families have a stress-free holiday season," says Shalley. "Whether you are hunting down the perfect 'Secret Santa' gift, browsing unique ornaments, hosting a traditional family holiday dinner or planning other festivities, Florida retailers are working hard to ensure this holiday season is merry and bright."

This holiday season, when shoppers "Find It In Florida" and shop local retailers, they help boost the local economy and support community businesses. Learn more about the "Find It In Florida" program at the website

For more information on the predictions of the National Retail Federation, visit: https://nrf.com/topics/holiday-and-seasonal-trends/winter-holidays

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
The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail thrive. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 24, 2021
CONTACT: Amanda Bevis (202) 680-9262

Tallahassee, FL – Halloween this year is expected to be a delightfully frightful success, according to the 2021 retail sales forecast data issued this week by the National Retail Federation. Halloween is the second biggest retail event of the year, and data reveals this year will be a comeback from the moderated activities during the pandemic. 

"You can already feel the energy and excitement among Florida retailers, with consumers in-store and online searching for items to make this Halloween one for the books," says Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. "When you're selecting your costume, stocking up on candy or loading up pumpkins, be sure to Find It In Florida! Support our local businesses and local jobs this scary season." 

Sixty-five percent of Americans intend to celebrate Halloween or participate in festivities, which is close to pre-pandemic levels. Some of the top ghoulish festivities for 2021 include handing out candy (66%), decorating the home or yard (52%), dressing up in costumes (46%), carving pumpkins (44%) and hosting or attending a Halloween party (25%).

Nationally, consumers plan to spend an all-time high of $10.14 billion to celebrate Halloween compared to $8.05 billion in 2020. Shoppers plan to spend $102.74 on average this Halloween compared to $92.74 in 2020.

One-third of total Halloween expenditures, or $3.32 billion will be on costumes, representing the highest forecast since 2017.

The surprise upset in this year's forecast is in the popular children's costume category. Spiderman has dethroned the princess for top costume this year, pushing long-time favorite princess to the #2 spot.

  • Spiderman - 1.8 million
  • Princess - 1.6 million
  • Batman - 1.2 million
  • Superhero - 1.2 million

Individuals planning to include their pets in the Hallow's Eve festivities will find pumpkin continues to reign as the hottest costume for the sixth consecutive year in a row. Superhero and cat costumes are tied as a top favorite for furry friends. The top five pet costumes are: 

  • Pumpkin - 10 percent
  • Hot Dog - 5 percent
  • Superhero - 4 percent
  • Cat - 4 percent
  • Bumblebee - 3 percent


Florida shoppers are getting an early start on their shopping for ghoulish delights at retail stores. This year, 45% of consumers started shopping in September, and 39% plan to purchase their spooky supplies during the first two weeks of October.

This Halloween, when shoppers "Find It In Florida" and shop local retailers, they help boost the local economy and support community businesses. Learn more about the "Find It In Florida" program at the website

For more information on the predictions of the National Retail Federation, visit: https://nrf.com/media-center/press-releases/halloween-spending-soars-celebrations-near-pre-pandemic-levels

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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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 14, 2021
CONTACT: Amanda Bevis (202) 680-9262

Tallahassee, FL – During National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Florida Retail Federation (FRF) is putting the spotlight on a family-owned retailer. In downtown Miami, Animal Crackers is not only taming the manes of dogs across all of South Florida, but making sure man's best friend is well-fed for a lifetime of belly rubs.

Meet Florida native, JJ Diaz. Diaz is the passionate owner and founder of Animal Crackers, a retail store offering healthy pet food and grooming services.  

Born and raised in Miami, Diaz spent most of his days outside as a kid, playing in the woods and catching lizards, frogs or any animal he could get his hands on. 

Though he grew up without having his own pet, it did not stop Diaz from picking up a dog the moment he moved off to college. While in Gainesville, Diaz adopted Jake, a rottweiler that had many health problems and not very long to live. 

For Diaz, failure was not an option. He traveled and met with a veterinarian that took a holistic approach. 

"By changing his diet and lifestyle, we were able to naturally, internally heal my dog," said Diaz. "It was kind of wicked to see." 

As a result, his one year left with Jake ended up being a lifelong friendship. For Diaz, the impact of this lifestyle change on the dog's health and wellness was not lost.

After Diaz graduated from the University of Florida, he entered the corporate world of Miami. But Diaz kept drumming up new business opportunities. He even entered and won business competitions, but none really seemed to pan out.

Diaz's enthusiasm for pet health and wellness remained steadfast. One day, he found himself driving up to 50 minutes away to ensure his dog received the food the nutritional supplements he needed to remain healthy. Then, in 2009, it was like a lightbulb turned on.

"I was out walking my dog, just thinking about life and all I had to do," recalled Diaz. 

That's when it hit him. Diaz could fulfill this need in his own community by offering a delivery service of these products. 

Within three months, Diaz had a website up and was delivering high-quality nutritious dog food to his neighbors. He immediately gained a supportive list of clientele and created an efficient distribution chain.

By 2011, Animals Crackers was a full-fledged retail storefront selling and delivering dog food and health supplements. Today, the retail shop offers a variety of grooming services and has an established and loyal customer base. 

The energetic and no-nonsense approach Diaz embodies, both personally and professionally, is due in part to his parents. 

"They are as Cuban as they come," Diaz said laughing. "My parents, they are polar opposites. My mother taught me how to hustle, and my father taught me to make sure I do things properly the first time." 

Diaz's mother was born in New York and raised in Cuba. In the 1960s, her family home in Cuba was taken away from them. They lost everything.

"She understood that at any point, no matter what you do, it could all end," explained Diaz. 

The experience she shared with him taught him to never take anything for granted and always share gratitude. 

"My parents instilled a drive within me to get things done and to work hard. But most importantly to remember that families come first. It is all about family."

For Diaz, his retail store is his tool to share his passion, to help educate and spread awareness on how to best treat and feed your furry friends. 

"A healthy lifestyle for your pet is the simplest form of love and care," he shared. 

And for many, pets are another member of the family. When COVID-19 hit, Diaz focused on how to care for pets that are family while keeping the store family together. 

He explained, "When COVID-19 hit, it destroyed us. But my first focus was how I am going to keep my crew together and keep everyone on board." 

Despite the uncertainty, the Animal Crackers retail team immediately sprung into action, offering curbside pick-up and capitalizing on their existing delivery service option. 

"Thankfully, we've been able to stay open and now are back to grooming up to 60 dogs a day," shared Diaz. "But that was not without growing together from the last year as a collective group. Through all our mistakes and successes, we still continue to come up with ways to better ourselves. We don't take anything for granted."

Diaz's passion to continually improve has played into his focus to help revitalize and encourage growth in the downtown Miami retail community. Through Diaz's grit and the hard work he and his partner continue to pour into Animal Crackers, growth has begun to occur. 

"I feel so blessed because I see people coming out and starting to really support the neighborhood community," he shared. "Our street is starting to look really good."

For JJ Diaz, at the end of the day, it is his wife, two children and the pet community he has built that makes him feel most proud. 

"For me, it has always been that level of bond with a dog," he explained. "When I come home from work and to my family, no matter how bad of a day, I know my pet is going to be stoked to hang with me."

Diaz is proud of his Hispanic roots, but he's also incredibly proud to be a part of the growth of Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States and their contributions to the American economy.

"The way I see it, Henry Flagler made Miami a resort town, but Hispanics made Miami a regional center of the American economy, as well as a financial center for the Caribbean," said Diaz. "Hispanic business owners’ contributions to local, national and the global economy are only gaining momentum, and all while facing additional barriers, whether be it from cultural and language differences or bias."

In fact, over the past decade, Hispanic Americans are starting businesses faster than the rest of the startup population. According to JP Morgan Chase, Hispanic-owned businesses will make up nearly one-third of American businesses, a significant jump from 17% today. 

Animal Crackers is one of many retail businesses in Florida that you can support while you shop local and "Find It In Florida." Visit their website or follow them on Facebook or Instagram for more information. 

Last year, the Florida Retail Federation launched the "Find It In Florida" campaign to spread public awareness on the importance of shopping locally. When Floridian shoppers "Find It In Florida", they are helping to keep doors open, boost the local economy and support their communities. 

Florida's retailers have continued to take proactive measures during the pandemic to provide consumers with safe access to meet their shopping needs, including safely shopping in stores, curbside pickup and online ordering options.  

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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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 27, 2021
CONTACT: Amanda Bevis (202) 680-9262

Tallahassee, FL – Florida retail stores are ready to help families get a jump start on back-to-school shopping. Floridians can save money when shopping for school supplies during Florida’s Back to School Sales Tax holiday that begins Saturday, July 31, and runs through Monday, August 9.

“School supplies are essential to learning and now you can save when you stock up for a new school year,” said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. “Remember to ‘Find It In Florida’ and support your local retailers when checking off the items on your back-to-school lists. Many retail stores are offering additional savings to help you cut costs this year.”

The following items are available for purchase tax-free July 31 – August 9:

  • Clothing, footwear and backpacks costing $60 or less;
  • School supplies costing $15 or less; and
  • First $1,000 of the sales tax price of personal computers or personal computer-related accessories.

According to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, Florida consumers are already planning ahead for the new school year and will spend record amounts for school and college supplies. About 70% of families plan to start shopping at least three weeks before school begins with average spending of $848.90 per household.

Total back-to-school spending is forecasted to reach $37.1 billion this fall. This can be partially attributed to shoppers expecting to spend more as more students will return to their in-person groups and clubs including sports teams and other extracurricular activities. The top categories for back-to-school and college shopping are electronics with back-to-school sales expected to reach $12.9 billion while college sales will make up $18.1 billion this fall.

There are more than 270,000 retail stores in Florida, and one in five jobs is tied to Florida retail. When shoppers “Find It In Florida" and shop local retailers, they help boost the local economy and support community businesses. Learn more about the "Find It In Florida" program at the website.

“Now is the time to save money when shopping for school supplies,” said Shalley. “We encourage all Floridians to “Find It In Florida” and shop with retailers that employ your neighbors and support your community.”

Visit www.fldoe.org to learn more about what you need to prepare and help your children return to school safely. For a full list of eligible tax-free supplies, please visit FloridaRevenue.com/BacktoSchool.

This year’s Back to School Sales Tax Holiday was established when Governor DeSantis signed HB 7061 into law on May 21. The legislation was championed by Rep. Bobby Payne and Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, and the tax-free holiday was a priority of Sen. Keith Perry.

The data shared by the Florida Retail Federation is informed by a survey conducted and released by the National Retail Federation. For more information on the predictions of the National Retail Federation, visit: https://nrf.com/media-center/press-releases/2021-brings-back-class-shopping-record-levels.

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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Contact Us

+1(850)222-4082
Florida Retail Federation
227 South Adams St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301
info@frf.org