FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 10, 2021
CONTACT: Amanda Bevis (202) 680-9262

Tallahassee, FL – In response to a joint plan released today by Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls, Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation, released the following statement:

“We’re proud to see such strong leadership coming from the two chambers of Florida’s Legislature. This plan is a creative approach to tackle multiple challenges our state faces. It will bolster Florida’s retail businesses, both big and small, while bringing much-needed revenue from out-of-state to provide support to the workers who have suffered job loss during the pandemic. Thank you, Senate President Wilton Simpson and Speaker Chris Sprowls. You’ve set the stage for a successful, collaborative and solutions-driven session.”

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
FEBRUARY 24, 2021

CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 680-9262

The Latest Forecast Reveals That As Vaccine Distribution Expands, Retail Sales Expected to Grow Between 6.5 to 8.2 Percent

Tallahassee, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) announced today that 2021 will be a major year of growth for the retail industry. According to a forecast released by the National Retail Federation, retail sales are anticipated to grow between 6.5 percent and 8.2 percent this year. 

As access to the vaccine increases, there is an expected uptick in in-store shopping. The retail sales growth in 2021 is expected to reach between $4.33 trillion and $4.4 trillion. These projections show the COVID-19 vaccine is creating comfort and confidence for Florida's shoppers.

“In 2020, we experienced an economic disruption unlike any other,” said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the FRF. “For the first time retailers across the nation were forced to halt their businesses and many experienced months-long closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Florida retailers have been working hard over the past year to protect the health of shoppers and employees while reopening. We continually strive to create a comfortable and safe shopping experience. As vaccine distribution expands, we are hopeful that increasing consumer confidence will encourage shoppers to return to in-store shopping at their favorite local retailers throughout 2021 and beyond."

The 2021 retail sales forecast total also includes online sales growth. As new vaccine rollouts continue across Florida, online retail purchases will remain a major form of shopping for consumers. Online sales are expected to grow between 18 and 23 percent in 2021, totaling between $1.14 trillion and $1.18 trillion in 2021. 

Florida retailers remain committed to offering shoppers a variety of safe and convenient methods to fulfill their needs.

  • Visit: Visit your local retailer to shop in-store. 
  • Buy Online: Find your favorite Florida retailer online to select what you need for pickup in-store. 
  • Curbside or Delivery: Call your local retailer to place an order for curbside pick-up or delivery, where available. 

As many local retailers continue to reopen and overcome the disruption and hardships faced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the FRF would like to remind shoppers to "Find It In Florida." When Floridians 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 2021 Retail Sales Forecast of the National Retail Federation, visit: https://nrf.com/media-center/press-releases/nrf-forecasts-retail-sales-exceed-433t-2021-vaccine-rollout-expands

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
FEBRUARY 16, 2021
CONTACT: Amanda Bevis (202) 680-9262

The Florida House Ways & Means Committee Hosted Workshop Discussion with Florida Retailers on Impact of Broken System to Florida Businesses

Tallahassee, FL – The House Committee on Ways & Means hosted a workshop on Monday to discuss remote commerce and sales and use tax. The workshop featured a panel that included three Florida retailers and members of the Florida Retail Federation (FRF).

The workshop was prompted by House Bill 15, a proposal sponsored by Representatives Chuck Clemons and Chip LaMarca that would “fix the glitch” in Florida’s tax laws by enforcing the collection of sales tax from online businesses.

Currently, all of Florida’s retailers collect and remit state and local sales taxes, but online and foreign businesses do not. Members of the FRF who participated in the workshop include: Clara Arrington, the assistant general counsel of Badcock Home Furnishings, Larry Sinewitz, the executive vice president of BrandsMart USA, and Debbie Harvey, president and COO of Ron Jon Surf Shop.

During the discussion, the retailers described the damaging effects of "showrooming," or visiting a store in-person to view a product and then purchasing at a discounted rate from an online retailer.

“Our sales associates work hard,” said Clara Arrington of Badcock Home Furnishings. “They’re knowledgeable about the products. Customers are able to come in, see the products, see what they look like, how they feel, ask questions… but they’re able to look on their phones and see other retailers that have been given a 6 to 7 percent head start. Not only does that hurt the corporation, but it hurts the dealers who are small business owners and the associates who operate on a commission structure. We’re at a disadvantage because of the unequal enforcement of the sales tax.”

Consumers may find the same product available in-store and online at a competitive price before sales tax is calculated, but the total price could be 6 to 7 percent cheaper if the out-of-state retailer fails to collect and remit the sales tax owed.

Lary Sinewitz of BrandsMart USA echoed this problem. He stated, “When somebody can come into our marketplace and sell things for 7 percent cheaper than we can just because they are not collecting the sales tax... it’s just not correct.”

“All we’re asking for is a level playing field. If we do that – we and our 1700 employees – can stay in businesses. “

Debbie Harvey, a former chair of the FRF, also spoke to the committee. She explained the lack of enforcement of sales tax from purchases made from out-of-state vendors place her business at a price disadvantage. Ultimately, it hurts the employees, who are fellow Florida residents and neighbors who support the state's economy.

“The proposed legislation is crucial to the success of our Florida retail stores,” said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. “Florida retailers just want a fair shake. It's time we fix the glitch and require out-of-state retailers to comply with the law. We are proud to support House Bill 15, and we are grateful to Reps. Clemons and LaMarca for bringing this issue to light.”

You may watch the online commerce workshop here.

To learn more about HB 15, click here.

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
DECEMBER 8, 2020
CONTACT: Amanda Bevis (202) 680-9262

Tallahassee, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) launched today "Find It In Florida," a new public awareness campaign reminding Floridians to shop local this holiday season.

Each year, the holiday shopping season is crucial to retailers' bottom line. This year, amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, during which many stores were forced to scale back, invest in new infrastructure and limit visitors, this season is more important than ever. Floridians can support the retail industry's recovery, help save businesses and spark job creation by shopping local this holiday season.

"Whether you're looking for this year's top toy, the perfect gift for your loved one or a gift card to send joy to a colleague, we're asking you to 'Find It In Florida' this holiday season," said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of FRF. "This year has been incredibly challenging for so many, especially Florida's retailers, and the holiday shopping season is crucial to their survival. Help all Florida businesses, from the nation's largest retailers to your favorite corner store, and support Florida jobs by shopping local for everything -- everything -- on your holiday gift list."

Florida businesses and families can do more than just shop local, they can also help spread the word. Visit our "Find It In Florida" page and download the images to share on social media. Order a "Find It In Florida" decal to proudly display and raise awareness. Encourage family, friends and loved ones to do the same.

Traditionally, purchases made at retail stores during the month of November and December account for nearly one-fifth, or 19 percent, of a store's annual sales. For many retailers, it's even higher than that.

In addition, retail stores offer much-needed jobs to Florida families, especially during this crucial time of the industry's year. Florida's retail industry generally supports 2.7 million jobs across the Sunshine State, or one in every five jobs. In 2019, the retail industry created an additional 562,000 jobs nationwide to support holiday shopping demands during November and December.

This year is expected to look different as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect families, the economy and the quality of life across America.

COVID-19 has had wide-ranging impacts on retail operations. Hundreds of storefronts across Florida were forced to close their doors for periods of time. All stores invested in new technologies, dividers and signage to help implement CDC guidelines and prevent the spread of illness. Global investments, trade and logistics also affected the availability and timeliness of goods on shelves.

"We know that consumers have a choice when it comes to where you shop," said Shalley. "When you shop at businesses that have a presence here in the Sunshine State, you're supporting Florida jobs, Florida families and Florida's economy."

Data from a recent survey conducted by the National Retail Federation indicates consumers plan to spend less overall on items this season, but are shopping sooner.

Consumers are expected to spend a total of $997.79, about $50 less than last year. Their planned purchases are divided across multiple categories:

  • $650 on gifts
  • $230 on holiday items like decorations
  • $117 on other, non-gift purchases

The decline in overall spending is attributed to consumers' hesitation to capitalize on promotional sales this season to purchase items that are not gifts, but may be for themselves or their families.

Many consumers have already begun their holiday shopping. Forty-two percent of consumers surveyed stated they had planned to start their holiday shopping by the end of October, with another 41% percent having noted November as their ideal start date.

According to the survey, holiday shoppers are focused on a variety of reasons to shop earlier, such as:

  • Taking advantage of sales or promotions - 53%
  • Purposefully avoiding crowds - 37%
  • Purchasing gifts early to prevent last-minute shopping stress - 31%
  • Purchasing of hot-holiday items on their list before they sell out - 26%
  • Worry about extended time or delays of receiving items - 19%
  • The extra money from a government stimulus - 19%

Remember, Florida's retailers offer a variety of methods to help keep your holiday schedule on track and your family healthy this season.

  • Visit: Visit your local retailer to shop for this year's holiday offerings.
  • Buy Online: Find your favorite Florida retailer online to select what you need for pickup in-store.
  • Curbside or Delivery: Call your local retailer to place an order for curbside pick-up or delivery, where available.

For more information about the "Find It In Florida" campaign, visit http://www.frf.org/index.php/find-it-in-florida.

For more information on the 2020 holiday season data available through the National Retail Federation, visit: https://nrf.com/blog/holiday-2020-shopping-starts-now.

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