For Immediate Release: April 2, 2018
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Shalley will serve his term effective immediately; As head of state’s retail advocate, he looks forward to supporting state’s tourism agency which has a direct impact on retail industry’s success

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association celebrating more than 80 years of supporting Florida’s retail industry, is excited to announce the selection of FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley to the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors effective immediately. Florida’s retail industry relies heavily on the state’s tourism industry, and the selection of Shalley will only continue to strengthen that partnership.

“I’m honored to join the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors, and I want to thank Chair Maryann Frenec and the rest of the board members for this opportunity,” said Shalley. “Retail and tourism go hand-in-hand, and having Florida continue to set records for the number of tourists, almost all of whom leave our state with more than what they came with, is great news for our members and our industry as a whole.”

VISIT FLORIDA’s 31-member Board consists of 16 regional seats appointed to represent all geographic areas of the state, and 15 additional seats that represent key sectors of the Florida tourism industry. The VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors is the organization’s private sector governing body that, along with the members of its 11 committees, provide guidance, input and insight into the evolution of VISIT FLORIDA’s marketing programs.

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 VISIT FLORIDA
As the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 116.5 million visitors in 2017 who spent $112 billion, generating 23 percent of the state’s sales tax revenue and employing more than 1.4 million Floridians. According to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, for every $1 the state invests in VISIT FLORIDA -- the official tourism marketing corporation for the state of Florida -- $2.15 in tax revenue is generated. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations, and visitor services programs. as a public/private partnerships, VISIT FLORIDA serves more than 12,000 tourism industry businesses, including major strategic alliance partnerships with Busch Gardens Tampa, Disney Destinations, The Hertz Corporation, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, SeaWorld Parks and Resorts Orlando, Simon Shopping Destinations and Universal Orlando Resort. For more information, go to VISITFLORIDA.org.

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Monday, 26 March 2018 16:06

Easter Spending Expected to be Near All-Time Record

Written by

For Immediate Release: March 26, 2018
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 $18.2 billion nationally, down slightly from last year, but 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, says Floridians will increase their Easter spending to near record levels this year, with the per person average expected to top $150, down slightly from last year’s record total of $152. The total expected to be spent nationally is $18.2 billion, second highest in survey history and down from last year’s record of $18.4 billion.

“Even though spending will be down slightly, it’s still near a record high which is great news for Sunshine State retailers who focus on stocking their shelves for the Easter holiday,” said FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “Easter is a great time for people to spend with family, which means consumers will be looking for deals on purchasing food, decorations and holding Easter egg hunts to celebrate.”

According to the survey, which was conducted by FRF’s national partners at the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend $5.7 billion on food (purchased by 87 percent of shoppers), $3.2 billion on clothing (48 percent), $2.9 billion on gifts (61 percent), $2.6 billion on candy (89 percent), $1.3 billion on flowers (39 percent), $1.1 billion on decorations (42 percent) and $780 million on greeting cards (46 percent).

In preparation for the Easter holiday, 59 percent of consumers will shop at discount stores, 46 percent will visit department stores, 28 percent will make purchases online, 25 percent will go to a specialty store and 25 percent will go to a small business or local store. Among smartphone users, 30 percent will research products or compare prices on their devices while 19 percent will use their phones to make a purchase.

Consumers intend to celebrate Easter in several ways: 60 percent will visit family and friends, 58 percent will cook a holiday meal, 51 percent will go to church and 17 percent will go to a restaurant. The Easter Bunny is expected to have a busy holiday season: 35 percent of consumers will participate in an Easter egg hunt and 16 percent will open gifts. In addition to traditional holiday events, some consumers will pursue more leisurely activities: 45 percent will watch TV, 11 percent will shop online, 9 percent will shop in a store and 8 percent will go to a movie.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
Founded in 1937, the Florida Retail Federation is celebrating more than 80 years 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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For Immediate Release: March 19, 2018
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Holley, most recently General Counsel for Dept. of Agriculture, brings extensive legal, utility regulation, small business and food safety experience to FRF’s senior leadership team

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for more than 80 years, announces the hiring of Lorena Holley, Esq. as its new General Counsel and Vice President effective March 26. Holley will serve as lead counsel for the organization as well as work with Florida’s grocers and convenience stores on small business, fuel regulation and food safety issues. Holley comes to FRF from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services where she served as General Counsel to Commissioner Adam Putnam.

“With her years of experience in both the public and private sectors, Lorena brings extensive knowledge on business issues that impact almost all of our members in some way,” said R. Scott Shalley, FRF President/CEO. “Whether it's food safety, small business, utility regulation or legal issues, Lorena will be an invaluable resource to our members. I’m excited about the depth of experience that Lorena brings to our team, our membership and our industry.”

Holley was appointed General Counsel of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services by Commissioner Adam Putnam in January of 2011. Prior to joining the Department, Holley was with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC), serving as a Senior Attorney with the Commission’s Office of General Counsel Division of Appeals, Rules and Mediation. During her years at the PSC, Holley also served as a Chief Advisor to a Commissioner, advising on legal and policy issues related to the economic regulation of Florida’s electric, gas, telecommunications, and water and wastewater utility industries.

“I’m thrilled to join the Florida Retail Federation and I look forward to bringing my experience to help our industry members achieve their goals,” said Holley. “I want to thank Scott for this great opportunity, and I look forward to working with him and the whole FRF team as we help the more than 270,000 retailers throughout Florida.”

Holley also worked for the law firm Rutledge, Ecenia, Purnell & Hoffman, P.A., where she provided legal representation to local governments and private utility companies. Prior to joining the PSC, Holley was a staff attorney with Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc. where she worked as an advocate and representative of indigent clients before various forums including the United States Social Security Administration, Citizen and Immigration Services, and the Florida Department of Children and Families.

She received her J.D. in 1999 from the Texas Tech School of Law in Lubbock, Texas and is a member of the Florida Bar. Holley is originally from Chile, but grew up in Austin, Texas.

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 Immediate Release: February 14, 2018
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

FRF hosted press conference today highlighting the importance of passing SB 524 which would allow pharmacists to test and treat for the flu and prescribe TamiFlu, helping to save lives

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association celebrating more than 80 years in supporting Florida’s retail industry, hosted a press conference today to help shine the spotlight on proposed legislation which would allow pharmacists to test and treat for the flu and then prescribe TamiFlu to the consumer, helping to save the lives of those suffering from flu-like symptoms. FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley was joined by Senator Jeff Brandes (R- St. Petersburg) and Representative Rene Placensia (R- Orlando) who are both bill sponsors and supporters of this important legislation.

“We want to thank Senator Brandes and Representative Placensia for their leadership in trying to get this crucial legislation passed and for recognizing the important and life-saving role that pharmacists can play in helping to fight the flu,” said Shalley. “It is our hope that the legislature recognizes the error of their ways, realizes the potentially thousands of lives they could be saving by passing this bill and votes yes when it comes back up for a vote.”

There is widespread flu activity from this season’s flu outbreak all across the continental U.S. – something that has not happened in the U.S. Center for Disease Control & Prevention’s 13 years of tracking the spread of influenza. This year’s flu is also particularly contagious and can be spread more easily just by breathing rather than by coughs and sneezes. For context, a mild flu season tends to kill about 12,000 Americans while a severe flu season kills about 56,000. With thousands of pharmacies throughout Florida, millions of Floridians would have access to healthcare and help with surviving the flu.

This expanded prescribing would come with training and continuing education courses for the pharmacists. Pharmacists seeking to test for and treat the influenza virus must obtain certification through a program approved by the Board of Pharmacy and they must test for and treat the influenza virus within the framework of an established written protocol under a supervising physician. This bill would provide many safeguards to ensure that every pharmacist is qualified, knowledgeable and capable of administering the flu test correctly.

“It’s our hope the legislature will advance both of these bills, and allow people quick access to both knowing they have the flu, while also providing immediate access to the one drug that can help them recover from it,” said Shalley.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
Founded in 1937, the Florida Retail Federation is celebrating more than 80 years as the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers are responsible for 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. In fact, more than three out of four of Florida’s budget dollars come from retail-related activity.

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