For Immediate Release:October 16, 2018
CONTACT:James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Average consumer expected spending to be up over last year’s previous record-high, with 175 million Americans expected to participate & $9 billion spent overall; the Sunshine State’s new favorite candy is Snickers, followed by Skittles and Reese’s Cups

TALLAHASSEE, FL –The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for more than 80 years, announced today that consumer spending on Halloween is expected to be near record-highs with the average person spending more than $86, up slightly from last year. Total spending nationally on Halloween is expected to reach $9 billion.

“With Florida’s economy surging and numerous statewide economic indicators remaining positive, we expect another strong year for spending on Halloween candy, costumes, decorations and other themed purchases,” said FRF President and CEO R. Scott Shalley. “This should mean another robust sales opportunity for retailers who market their goods and scare enough consumers into their stores.”

Additionally, the candy favorited most by Floridians changed this year with Snickers beating out last year’s winner Skittles followed by Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, according to candystore.com. This year, more than 661,000 pounds of Snickers will be bought in Florida, including 579,000 pounds of Skittles and 214,000 pounds of Reese’s Cups. The top five favorite candies nationally are Skittles, M&Ms, Snickers, Reese’s Cups and Starburst

According to a recent survey done by FRF’s national partners at the National Retail Federation, spending for Halloween is expected to reach $9 billion, the second highest in the survey’s 14-year history. The figure is relatively the same as last year’s previous record of $9.1 billion. Celebrants are planning to spend an average of $86.79, up from last year’s $86.13, with more than 175 million Americans planning to partake in Halloween festivities this year.

According to the survey, consumers plan to spend $3.2 billion on costumes (purchased by 68 percent of Halloween shoppers), $2.7 billion on decorations (74 percent), $2.6 billion on candy (95 percent) and $400 million on greeting cards (35 percent).

Among Halloween celebrants, 70 percent plan to hand out candy, 50 percent will decorate their home or yard, 48 percent will wear costumes, 45 percent will carve a pumpkin, 32 percent will throw or attend a party, 30 percent will take their children trick-or-treating, 21 percent will visit a haunted house and 18 percent will dress pets in costumes.

Pet costumes continue to gain popularity, with nearly 20 percent of celebrants planning to dress their pets in costumes this year up from last year’s 16 percent.

When looking for inspiration for the perfect costume, 35 percent of consumers will look online, 29 percent will look in stores, 19 percent will ask friends and family, 19 percent will look to Pinterest and 16 percent will look to Facebook; 16 percent will be influenced by pop culture and 15 percent by YouTube.

For buying costumes and other Halloween supplies, 45 percent of shoppers will visit discount stores and 35 percent will go to a specialty Halloween store or costume store. In addition, 25 percent will visit department stores, 24 percent will buy online and 24 percent in grocery/supermarket stores.

Top Costumes for Kids
More than 3.8 million children plan to dress as their favorite princess character, 2.5 million as their favorite superhero, 2.2 million as Batman characters, 1.9 million as their favorite Star Wars characters, and another 1.9 million will dress as a witch.

Most Popular Costumes for Kids

  1. Princess 7.6%
  2. Superhero 4.9%
  3. Batman 4.3%
  4. Star Wars character 3.7%
  5. Witch 3.6%
  6. Spider-Man 3.5%
  7. Avengers character (except Spider-Man) 3.2%
  8. Ghost 2.9%
  9. Pirate 2.0%
  10. Frozen (Elsa, Anna) 1.7%

Top Costumes for Adults
Halloween continues to be popular for adults as well, with half of celebrants (48 percent) planning to dress in costume this year. More than 7.2 million adults plan to dress as a witch, 2.5 million as a vampire, 2.1 million as a zombie, 1.9 million as a pirate, 1.3 million as their favorite Avengers characters such as Iron Man or Black Panther.

Most Popular Costumes for Adults

  1. Witch 10.7%
  2. Vampire 3.7%
  3. Zombie 3.1%
  4. Pirate 2.9%
  5. Avengers character (except Spider-Man) 2.0%
  6. Batman 2.0%
  7. Star Wars character 1.9%
  8. Ghost 1.8%
  9. Super hero 1.8%
  10. Clown 1.6%
  11. Wonder Woman 1.5%

Top Costumes for Pets
Pet lovers will also be dressing up their cat or dog for Halloween. Eleven percent of pet lovers will dress their animal in a pumpkin costume, while 7 percent will dress their cat or dog as a hot dog, 5 percent as a bumble bee and 3 percent as the devil.

Most Popular Costumes for Pets

  1. Pumpkin 11.2%
  2. Hot dog 7.4%
  3. Bumble bee 4.9%
  4. Devil 3.2%
  5. Cat 3.1%
  6. Dog 3.1%
  7. Lion 2.9%
  8. Star Wars character 2.8%
  9. Super hero 2.7%
  10. Ghost 2.5%

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 is the world’s largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents 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: October 15, 2018
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

These House incumbents have been supportive of Florida retailers in the past, and are the choices for Florida’s premier retail industry association

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) PAC today announced its endorsement of a number of House incumbents who have all supported Florida’s retail industry during their previous terms in the Florida House. These incumbents include:

Jayer Williamson, District 3 Mel Ponder, District 4 Jay Trumbull, District 6
Clay Yarborough, District 12 Jason Fischer, District 16 Cyndi Stevenson, District 17
Bobby Payne, District 19 Charles Clemons, District 21 Charlie Stone, District 22
Stan McClain, District 23 Paul Renner, District 24 Tom Leek, District 25
David Santiago, District 27 Bob Cortes, District 30 Jennifer Sullivan, District 31
Blaise Ingoglia, District 35 Amber Mariano, District 36 Danny Burgess, District 38
Josie Tomkow, District 39 Colleen Burton, District 40 Mike LaRosa, District 42
Bobby Olszewski, District 44 Rene Plasencia, District 50 Randy Fine, District 53
Cary Pigman, District 55 Lawrence McClure, District 58 Jackie Toledo, District 60
James Grant, District 64 Chris Sprowls, District 65 Chris Latvala, District 67
Ray Rodrigues, District 76 Dane Eagle, District 77 Heather Fitzenhagen, District 78
Byron Donalds, District 80 MaryLynn Magar, District 82 Rick Roth, District 85
Bob Rommel, District 106 Jose Oliva, District 110 Bryan Avila, District 111
Daniel Perez, District 116 Holly Raschein, District 120

“For our industry and our members to succeed, it’s important for us to have legislative partners who understand the value that retail brings to our state and have them work to pass legislation that supports the growth of Florida businesses,” said FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “These House incumbents have been friends of retailing and we’re confident they will continue this support when they are re-elected.”

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. For more information, visit the FRF website, and follow FRF on Facebook and Twitter.

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For Immediate Release: September 25, 2018
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Caldwell supported Florida retailers during his time in the House including ways to balance industry needs with consumer issues, and is the choice for Florida’s premier retail industry association

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) PAC today announced its endorsement of republican Matt Caldwell for Agriculture Commissioner.

“During his time in the Florida House, Matt consistently worked with Florida’s retail industry on ways to balance the needs of the business community with those of consumers, and as Agriculture Commissioner we know he’ll continue this partnership and help our industry grow,” said FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “The Florida Retail Federation looks forward to working with Matt on eliminating unnecessary regulations that may hinder the success of business owners throughout the state and ensuring Florida remains a great state to do business.”

"I am grateful to have earned the endorsement of the Florida Retail Federation, the voice that represents a diverse business community in Florida,” said Caldwell. “As Florida's next Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, I will work hand-in-hand with job creators to ensure Florida continues to be a business-friendly state with a bustling and growing economy.”

Caldwell is a 7th-generation Floridian who grew up in Lee County and was first elected to the Florida House in 2010. He served on several committees during his tenure in the House, including transportation, tax policy, redistricting, insurance, banking, and local & federal government affairs. He most recently chaired the Government Accountability Committee, which oversees subcommittees regarding natural resources and public lands, transportation and infrastructure, local, federal, and military issues, and oversight of government operations, such as pensions and elections.

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. For more information, visit the FRF website, and follow FRF on Facebook and Twitter.

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For Immediate Release: September 6, 2018
CONTACT: James Miller This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Tallahassee-based retailer and FRF board member Mergel selected as 2018 America’s Retail Champion of the Year by the National Retail Federation

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) today announced that one its board members Lisa Mergel, owner of Kanvas Beauty in Tallahassee, was named the 2018 America’s Retail Champion of the Year in a ceremony held last night in Washington D.C. Mergel was chosen from a group of finalists and received the prestigious award in front of hundreds during an event hosted by FRF’s national partners at the National Retail Federation.

“We are extremely proud but not surprised that the winner came from Florida, and there’s no one more representative of the incredible and dedicated retail employees in our state than Lisa Mergel and Kanvas Beauty,” said FRF President & CEO R. Scott Shalley (pictured left with Ms. Mergel at the NRF ceremony). “Lisa’s commitment to her community, her customers and her industry are just some of the reasons she was selected for this prestigious award and we’re honored to have her as a board member and a leader of Florida’s retail industry.”

Mergel is the owner of Kanvas Beauty, a boutique day spa and beauty products store in Tallahassee that she opened in 2007. The business has ten employees and offers an internship program for Florida State University students studying retail business and merchandising.

Mergel, who was recognized as FRF’s Florida Retailer of the Year in 2016 and is a member of the organization’s Beauty Industry Council, was selected from a group of five finalists who included Sean Brownlee of Ravenox, a rope manufacturer and retailer in Burlington, N.C.; Tom Largay of Old Port Cards in Portland, Maine; Nicole Panettieri of The Brass Owl boutique in New York City; and Linda Taylor of VK Electronics in McCook, Neb.

Mergel, a career-long retailer, began her career working for major retail brands in New York before moving to Florida and opening Kanvas which is a unique concept of a world class day spa and specialty boutique. Outside of work, Lisa volunteers her time at one of many local civic organizations and mentoring retail merchandising students from Florida State University.

The America’s Retail Champions program, now in its fifth year, honors retailers who make their mark on public policy debates affecting the industry. Over 40 retailers from across the nation ranging from online sellers to small and mid-size store owners were nominated by state retail associations and their peers based on engagement in public policy discussions at the local, state and national level.

Participants will meet with members of the House and Senate on Capitol Hill today to discuss the retail industry’s public policy agenda and priorities.

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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