Florida Retail Federation President & CEO R. Scott Shalley released the following statement in support of Governor Rick Scott's proposed $180 million tax cut package:
“We thank Governor Scott for proposing his tax package, which includes a record-tying 10-day back-to-school sales tax holiday and one for disaster preparedness, saving Florida families more than $88 million and providing increased sales to Sunshine State retailers. We are eager to see the positive impact these two important holidays will have in both helping students prepare for school and also ensuring that residents and visitors can buy the critical supplies they need to protect themselves both before and after a natural disaster.”
For Immediate Release: October 18, 2017
Average person expected to spend $86 this year on Halloween candy, costumes, decorations and greeting cards; total spending nationally to set record of $9.1 billion
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 75 years, announced today that consumer spending on Halloween is expected to once again set an all-time high with the average person spending more than $86, up from $83 in 2016. Total spending nationally on Halloween is expected to reach $9.1 billion up from $8.4 billion last year.
“Another year of expected record spending on Halloween festivities is great news for Florida’s retailers,” said FRF President and CEO R. Scott Shalley. “The crafty retailers in our state will be able to scare up more sales by offering special discounts and other incentives to get more people in their stores to purchase costumes, decorations and candy.”
According to a recent survey done by FRF’s national partners at the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to spend an average of $86.13, up from last year’s $82.93, with 179 million Americans planning to partake in Halloween festivities, up from 171 million in 2016.
According to the survey, consumers plan to spend $3.4 billion on costumes (purchased by 69 percent of Halloween shoppers), $2.7 billion on candy (95 percent), another $2.7 billion on decorations (72 percent) and $410 million on greeting cards (37 percent).
According to Candystore.com, the most popular Halloween candy in the Sunshine State, based on sales data from 2007-2016, are Skittles (630,938 pounds sold), followed by Snickers (587,385) and Reese’s Cups (224,637). The top three most popular Halloween candies across the country are Skittles, Reese’s Cups and M&M’s.
Among Halloween celebrants, 71 percent plan to hand out candy, 49 percent will decorate their home or yard, 48 percent will wear costumes, 46 percent will carve a pumpkin, 35 percent will throw or attend a party, 31 percent will take their children trick-or-treating, 23 percent will visit a haunted house and 16 percent will dress pets in costumes.
Thirty-five percent of consumers will find their inspiration for the perfect costume online, while 30 percent will look in stores, 20 percent will ask friends and family, 18 percent will look to Facebook or Pinterest, 17 percent will be influenced by pop culture and 14 percent by print media.
When it comes to buying costumes and other Halloween supplies, 47 percent of shoppers will visit discount stores and 38 percent will go to a specialty Halloween store or costume store. In addition, 25 percent will visit supermarkets, 24 percent will buy at department stores and 22 percent will shop online.
More than 3.7 million children plan to dress as their favorite action character or superhero, 2.9 million as Batman characters and another 2.9 million as their favorite princess while 2.2 million will dress as a cat, dog, monkey or other animal.
|Costumes Ranked: Children|
|Animal (Cat, Dog, Monkey, etc.)||4.1%|
|Star Wars Character||3.1%|
|Marvel Superhero (excl. Spider-Man)||2.9%|
Proving that Halloween isn’t just for kids, a record number of adults (48 percent) plan to dress in costume this year. More than 5.8 million adults plan to dress like a witch, 3.2 million as their favorite Batman character, 3 million as an animal (cat, dog, cow, etc.), and 2.8 million as a pirate.
|Costumes Ranked: Adults|
|Batman Character (Batman, Catwoman, Harley Quinn, etc.)
|Animal (Cat, Dog, etc.)
|Marvel Superhero (Spider-Man, Captain America, etc.)
|DC Superhero (excluding Batman, Wonder Woman)||2.3%|
|Star Wars Character||2.3%|
|Slasher Movie Villain (Jason, Scream, etc.)
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.
Florida Retail Federation President & CEO R. Scott Shalley released the following statement in support of Governor Rick Scott's and Speaker Richard Corcoran's proposals to address opioid abuse in Florida:
“We applaud Governor Scott and Speaker Corcoran for presenting this vital framework to protect Florida families and enhance the education and responsibilities of prescribers. FRF represents thousands of pharmacy stores in Florida and the recommendations provided by the Governor and Speaker today will serve as significant steps to reducing both the current abuse of opioids as well as preventing future addictions. Specifically, limiting the frequency of prescribing controlled substances and mandating that prescribers check the PDMP will help to curtail any abuses.”
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida Department of Revenue Executive Director Leon Biegalski issued an emergency order to extend certain filing due dates for Florida businesses registered with the Department in each of the 67 counties. Order of Emergency Waiver Number 17-235-DOR-003 changes the filing due date for sales and use tax, as well as fuel tax returns and payments to Sept. 29, 2017.
Sales and use tax, as well as fuel tax returns and payments are normally due on the 1st day of the month, and late after the 20th day of the month. For electronic filers, submissions initiated by 5:00 p.m. on Sept. 28 will be deemed timely filed.
The Department has implemented the filing date extensions pursuant to subsection 213.055(2), F.S., which authorizes the Executive Director of the Department of Revenue to carry out certain actions during a declared state of emergency. On Sept. 4, 2017, Governor Rick Scott issued Executive Order Number 17-235 declaring a state of emergency in response to the threat of Hurricane Irma.
The Department’s taxpayer services phone line is available at 800-352-3671 for taxpayers who have additional questions. Visit the Florida Sales and Use Tax webpage and the Florida Fuel Tax webpage for additional tax information. For more information or to sign up for email updates from the Department of Revenue, visitfloridarevenue.com.
As IRMA exits Florida and continues to diminish, I hope that this email finds your and yours safe and secure. Many of you and your businesses have suffered significant loss and are facing a daunting path to recovery and return to operations. Please know that we are with you and we will work tirelessly to help facilitate a complete return to operation for your businesses. Floridians need you and we know that there are immediate challenges relating to reentry and restoration of power. FRF and FPMA team members remain embedded within the State Emergency Operations Center and we are working closely with all level of government to clear hurdles to safe, efficient return to operations.
While I am proud of our team and our efforts, I am even more touched by the response of Florida's retailers. The retail community has been incredible in responding to the needs of Floridians and providing food and water, fuel, life saving medical supplies, construction/safety materials, safe harbor to pets and much, much more. I could not be more proud to be associated with such an impressive group of companies. Thank you for all you are doing to provide much needed products and services to your friends and neighbors.
While I know all of you are eager to reopen, please keep in mind that much of Florida still faces life safety dangers. We urge you to respect law enforcement officials as they complete search and rescue efforts and clear areas for reentry. If you have questions or concerns, let us know and we will work to facilitate solutions.
Governor Scott has declared a state of emergency for Hurricane Irma (link to Executive Order). The path of the storm is not clear at this point, but the potential for serious impact to Florida is significant. The time to prepare is NOW. We encourage you to consider the following as you prepare your businesses and your homes for this event:
Please visit www.floridadisaster.org for information and guidance regarding preparation and response, forecasts, and other resources from Florida’s State Emergency Response Team. The declaration includes the entire state, which means emergency pricing regulations are in effect for the entire state. This means that the state will be monitoring how necessary commodities are being priced throughout the emergency.
IImagine going to the grocery store for dinner, not to pick up a rotisserie chicken to take home, but to actually eat at the store. As online grocery shopping grows, many supermarkets are adding sit-down restaurants in a move to attract more millennials. And it seems to be working.
This valued event brings together the leaders of Georgia’s retail industries along with Georgia legislators to discuss the future of retail as well as laying the foundation for GRA’s legislative and membership priorities for 2018.
Kyle Riggs, who manages Market Grille, the restaurant at a Hy-Vee grocery store in Columbia, Mo., says most people don't expect to find this level of food service next to the produce aisle.
"And then when they walk in here, they're just amazed at the full wine wall with the ladder that slides," he says. "We have 20 beers on tap and a lot of high-end alcohol, whiskeys and things like that, and great food."
The ingredients come from the store. They are cooked in the store's kitchen and served here. Riggs says football games can pack the 148-seat restaurant with college students and young professionals.
Indeed, Rob Hunt, 30, and Aaron Hadlow, 28, have been stopping by all summer for happy hour after work. Hunt says the variety of food, the local, craft beer on tap and ultimately the price are a big draw.
"You can't get $2 pints of beer anywhere else and that's honestly the biggest thing," he says. "We tried a couple of other places this summer and they were fun, but it's just cheaper over here."
Across the country, supermarkets like Whole Foods have been offering sit-down dining and drink deals for years. The trend of adding full restaurants, sometimes called "groceraunts," falls in line with the uptick in prepared store meals, which has grown 30 percent since 2008 and driven $10 billion in sales last year, according to the NPD group.
Hy-Vee, which was one of the early adopters of the groceraunt model, has added 115 Market Grilles to date.
While grocery stores had been losing customers in recent years to smaller markets and online food shopping, groceraunts have helped bring back foot traffic to the old-school grocers.
"It's really made a big difference for us in the evening," says Jeremy Gosch, executive vice president strategy and chief merchandising officer, at Hy-Vee, Inc. "That's where most traditional grocery store food service had oppurtunity."
Gosch says creating an in-house restaurant, different ambiance and different lighting were important to draw in diners. "I think we're capturing business that we didn't have before in our food service department," he says.
While people are looking for more options in prepared foods, the traditional center of the store, with cans of beans and boxes of cereal, has had to make room. That means space on the shelf is becoming more competitive.
"As ... we continue to roll out into existing stores some food service updates and expansion, especially on meals to go for consumption at home, I think you'll see a little bit of that compression," Gosch says. That could mean a future with only one size and brand of canned tomatoes on the shelf.
A large part of this shift is thanks to millennials, like Hunt and Hadlow, who are more likely to dine out than older generations. More than half of millennials surveyed by financial services firm Morgan Stanley said they had eaten out in the past week, compared to 43 percent of previous generations.
Today, groceraunts are featuring seasonal menus and hiring graduates of the Culinary Institute of America as chefs. Food industry analyst Phil Lempert says this appeals to millennials, too.
"What these groceraunts can do is give them a convenient location where they can meet their friends, where they can have great food, and have it at a great value," he says. "That becomes a terrific formula to attract this generation."
Millennials are also turning away from slumping restaurant chains, like Chili's or Applebee's, which plans to close up to 60 locations this year.
That's forcing some restaurant chains to look toward grocery stores as potential partners. Think of Starbucks and Caribou coffee kiosks in grocery stores, except in this case, Wolfgang Puck wants his cafe to become the in-house restaurant, says Lempert.
"Now these restaurateurs want their space in the supermarket as well, because they know that it's more convenient for people, it's more of a one-stop-shop, and it's hurting their traditional restaurants," he says.
The next step for grocery stores may be to add home meal-delivery options, Lempert says, as digital orders ramp up with tech-savvy, young adults. Market analysts are looking at the Amazon-Whole Foods merger and expect both more restaurants to be added to grocery stores, and more people to order their groceries and dinner together online.
"This is a trend that's going to continue to grow," Lemeprt says. "Grocers are putting more money and more effort in this. They see it as their culinary mark, if you would, on society. So this is here to stay."
For Immediate Release: July 31, 2017
1st Annual Best Bagger Competition winner was Kelina Salinas from Lucky’s Market, who received a $1,000 cash prize and all-expense paid trip to February’s national championship
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Grocers Association (FGA), a division of the Florida Retail Federation, hosted an event to identify Florida’s best bagger of groceries among Sunshine State grocery industry employees. The 1st Annual Florida Best Bagger Competition took place Sunday, July 23 during the 2017 Sunshine EXPO®, one of the largest retailing events in the Southeast, with contestants representing a number of grocery stores throughout Florida. The winner of this inaugural contest was Kelina Salinas from Lucky’s Market. In addition to taking home “bagging rights” for the year, Kelina also won the $1,000 grand prize along with an all-expense paid trip to represent Florida and compete for a $10,000 grand prize at the National Grocers Association National Best Bagger Championship held in February 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“We were thrilled with the interest and participation from our grocery members for our first ever Best Bagger Competition as well as the excitement of the audience during the event,” said FGA Executive Director Josie Correa. “I want to congratulate all of the contestants for participating in this inaugural event, and we look forward to supporting Kelina and cheering her on as she represents the State of Florida at the national championships in February.”
The runner-up bagger, Josue Anelus from Publix, received $500 while the third place contestant, J.P. Paiva also from Publix, won $250.
The Florida Best Bagger Competition was for supermarket employees demonstrating a superior core customer service skill in a friendly competition. Contestants were judged by speed of bagging, proper bag-building technique, weight distribution in the bag, as well as style, attitude and appearance. All stores were encouraged to do their own in-store competition and then send their best bagger to the Florida competition. Family, friends, cheer teams and fellow workers were in attendance to cheer on their favorite contestant.
ABOUT THE FLORIDA GROCERS ASSOCIATION
The Florida Grocers Association, a division of the Florida Retail Federation, was launched in 2015 to provide a voice and identity to the state’s $45 billion grocery industry. FGA’s goal is to advocate for its members at the local, state and national level while serving the needs of the more than 2,300 grocery stores and their industry partners statewide. For more information about the Florida Grocers Association, please visit flgrocers.com.