For Immediate Release: May 31, 2018
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Dianne Hart is a small business owner, community leader, and a retailer for more than 30 years, and is the choice for Florida's premier retail industry association

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) PAC today announced its endorsement of retailer Dianne Hart for the Florida House of Representatives. Hart, a Democrat, is running for election in House District 61 which covers downtown Tampa, Ybor City, and Seminole Heights.

"Dianne has successfully run a small retail business for 30 years all while making a significant difference in her community, and we are confident she will continue to support her fellow retailers,” said FRF President & CEO R. Scott Shalley. “Dianne is a great example of a business and community leader and we feel she’ll make a big impact in the Florida House.”

Hart has owned and operated Ms. Dee’s World of Beauty in Tampa for more than 30 years. She is also actively involved in her community, including currently serving as CEO of the East Tampa Business and Civic Association, is a member of the Hillsborough County Children’s Advisory Board and NFL YET Center, the Affordable Housing Trust Fund Task Force and serves on the Commission of the Status of Women. Hart is also committed to a local food initiative in Hillsborough County as well as focusing on economic development projects.

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: May 22, 2018
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Spending to be near record highs as consumers continue to feel good about their economic situation, with gift cards, cash, apparel and electronics leading the way for graduation gifts

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 spend near record highs on graduates this year. The average person is expected to spend $102.51, close to last year’s total of $104.92. Total spending on graduation gifts nationally is expected to top $5.2 billion, the third highest in the survey’s 12-year history.

“Graduation is such a significant milestone in a young adult’s life, and parents, friends, grandparents and others want to recognize this achievement with near record spending this year,” said R. Scott Shalley, FRF President & CEO. “Once again, Florida retailers will put graduation gift ideas on center stage, focusing on the most popular items and combining the excitement of graduating with great discounts and deals for consumers.”

According to FRF’s national partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics, cash will once again be the most popular gift, given by 55 percent of those surveyed as they seek to help students with the costly transition from high school to college or college to the “real world.” Greeting cards — many of them with cash inside — follow at 43 percent, gift cards at 32 percent, apparel at 14 percent and electronics at 10 percent.

The survey found 45 percent of those ages 18-24 plan to give a gift to other graduates, spending an average of $73.87, with cash being their gift of choice. However, the biggest spending, at $119.86, comes from those ages 45-54 who may have a child at home. Those in the grandparent bracket of 65 and above give an average of $107.15.

The survey, which asked 7,681 consumers about their graduation gift-giving plans, was conducted May 3-10 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points..

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 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: May 7, 2018
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Second highest spending amount ever expected this year as families splurge on moms with jewelry, meals, flowers and clothing the most popular options

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 80 years, says Florida mothers will be showered with gifts from their family members this year, as spending for Mother’s Day is expected to reach $180 per person. This is down slightly from last year’s record high of $186 per person. Total spending nationwide is expected to surpass $23.1 billion, once again the second highest in survey history with more than 86 percent of Americans celebrating.

“Mothers play such a vital role in our society, and it’s wonderful to see that they’ll be receiving plenty of gifts this year as people feel more and more comfortable with their own finances,” said FRF President & CEO R. Scott Shalley. “A healthy economy with more Floridians employed should lead to increased spending and a great opportunity for retailers to take advantage of this by showcasing sales and discounts on the more popular items.”

According to FRF’s partners at the National Retail Federation’s recent survey, consumers plan to spend $4.6 billion on jewelry (purchased by 34 percent of shoppers), $4.4 billion on special outings such as dinner or brunch (55 percent) and $2.6 billion on flowers (69 percent). In addition, $2.5 billion will be spent on gift cards (45 percent), $2.1 billion on clothing (36 percent), $2.1 billion on consumer electronics (14 percent) and $1.8 billion on personal services such as a spa day (24 percent). Another $956 million will be spent on housewares or gardening tools (19 percent), $813 million on greeting cards (77 percent) and $494 million on books or music (19 percent).

The survey found 29 percent want to receive a “gift of experience” such as a spa day, tickets to a concert or gym membership while 26 percent plan to give such a gift. Gifts of experience are given most often — 45 percent of those surveyed — by 18 to 34-year olds.

Individuals ages 35-44 will be the biggest spenders this year at an average $224. However, those between 18-24 will most likely use smartphones to research their purchases and compare prices at 62 percent.

When searching for gifts, 35 percent of consumers will head to department stores and 31 percent will shop online, while 29 percent plan to shop at specialty stores such as florists, jewelers or electronics stores. Meanwhile, 23 percent plan to shop at a local small business, 22 percent at discount stores and 10 percent at specialty clothing stores.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION N
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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Runners-Up Honored from Gainesville, Holmes Beach and Miami

(TALLAHASSEE) - More than three decades of law enforcement experience, coupled with a talent for identifying criminal behavior even when it isn’t obvious to others, helped Detective Sergeant Daniel J. Carron of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office break two separate shoplifting rings last year and earn the prestigious honor of being named the 2007 Florida Retail Federation (FRF) Law Enforcement Officer of the Year (LEOY). Detective Sergeant Carron will receive a check for $3,000 and an attractive custom-crafted medallion and plaque when he is honored at FRF's annual awards banquet on Tuesday, November 13, 2007, at The Shores Resort in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida. His name will be added to a plaque that lists each LEOY recipient since the program’s inception in 1974. Pinellas County Sheriff Jim Coats, who nominated Detective Sergeant Carron, will accept the plaque on behalf of the department. Dan Doyle, vice president of loss prevention and human resources for Beall’s, Inc., and chairman of FRF’s LEOY committee, will make the presentation on behalf of FRF’s nearly 12,000 members.

“The Florida Retail Federation is proud to continue its tradition of honoring Florida’s finest law enforcement professionals and to highlight the contributions of Detective Sergeant Daniel Carron in his efforts to combat organized retail crime,” says Richard A. McAllister, FRF president and chief executive officer. “All of the nominees are very deserving and are a credit and inspiration to law officers and law-abiding citizens throughout our state. Our selection committee’s task of choosing among these distinguished officers was not an easy one.”

Three officers were also selected as runners-up from the field of outstanding nominees that represent various law enforcement entities from throughout the state. They are: Officer Carlos Decespedes of the Miami Police Department; Officer Michael Leonard of the Holmes Beach Police Department; and Officer Joseph Register of the Gainesville Police Department. Each officer will be sent a framed certificate of recognition.

2007 RECIPIENT – DETECTIVE SERGEANT DANIEL J. CARRON, PINELLAS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Detective Sergeant Daniel J. Carron has worked for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office since 1977. He currently supervises the Office’s Tactical Apprehension and Control (TAC) Unit, which is part of the Property Crimes Division, and its staff of experienced detectives. Twice in 2006, Detective Sergeant Carron’s dedication and expertise resulted in the downfall of separate shoplifting rings that were targeting home improvement stores throughout Florida.

In July 2006, Detective Sergeant Carron was in plain clothes conducting a follow-up investigation at a large home improvement store in Largo. He was approached by a woman who asked if he wanted to purchase a store gift card. While he declined, he was aware of ongoing theft scams in which suspects shoplift items, then return the items for gift cards and later sell the cards for cash profit. His astute observation and quick thinking led to the demise of a trio of criminals who, it was discovered, had their car stocked with fraudulent or altered identification, maps, and a list of home improvement stores throughout the Southeast. All admitted their involvement in a multi-state shoplifting ring that was responsible for as much as $100,000 in losses.

Sgt. Carron and his detectives conducted a similar complicated operation at another home improvement store which, after hundreds of investigative hours over a six-month period, culminated in the arrest of more than ten suspects. The gang of shoplifters traveled around the state netting between $2,000 and $5,000 a day for an estimated total theft of as much as $500,000.

Detective Sergeant Carron joins 37 previous LEOY recipients who represent various branches of law enforcement including several police departments and sheriff’s offices, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Highway Patrol, and the former Florida Marine Patrol.

THE RUNNERS-UP

Officer Carlos Decespedes, Miami Police Department
Officer Carlos Decespedes is an 18-year veteran of the Miami Police Department. His driving force is his relentless commitment to protect and serve his community. Described as “dependable” and a “team player,” Officer Decespedes was honored as the Miami Police Department’s “Officer of the Month” for February, April and August of this year for his exceptional work in the Overton area. Specifically, he embarked on an aggressive strategy to rid the area of known street level narcotics dealers and armed offenders. He continues to serve as an example to other officers and leads the entire department with high productivity of arrests and summons each month, including 101 total arrests in April, all without using any form of physical force. Officer Decespedes was nominated by the Honorable John A. Timoney, Chief of the City of Miami Police Department.

Officer Michael Leonard of the Holmes Beach Police
On Christmas 2006, Officer Michael Leonard was dispatched to a Holmes Beach pharmacy to respond to a reported armed robbery in progress. Upon his arrival, the suspect fled on foot into a condominium complex and carjacked a vehicle from a family. A car pursuit took place, with the suspect crossing the centerline of a busy state road, running numerous vehicles off the roadway. The suspect eventually wrecked the stolen vehicle in the middle of a bridge, fled, and attempted to dive off the bridge into the water below. At risk to his own personal safety, Officer Leonard tackled the suspect and prevented his escape. The suspect’s numerous charges included armed robbery and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. He was also charged with an unrelated bank robbery that occurred several days before in a neighboring jurisdiction. Officer Leonard was nominated by the Honorable Chief Jay Romine of the Holmes Beach Police Department.

Officer Joseph Register of the Gainesville Police Department
Officer Joseph Register has worked for the Gainesville Police Department for two-and-a half years. During the past year, he has been assigned full-time to the Oaks Mall, a 140-plus store shopping center serving the majority of North Central Florida. Rolling through the mall elevated on his Segway scooter, Officer Register is a welcome sight to busy shoppers and retailers alike, helping to ensure their safety. He is an incredible asset to the mall retail establishments and has conducted crime prevention training for store staff. During the past year, he made a total of 265 arrests, 42 of which were felony offenses. Officer Register also prevents thousands of dollars of merchandise losses each month by catching shoplifters in progress. In the past year, he has recovered over $37,000 in stolen merchandise from subjects attempting to flee businesses without paying for the items. Officer Register was nominated by Captain Ed Book of the Gainesville Police Department.

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