We want to remind you that, thanks to FRF’s efforts this past legislative session, Florida will hold a back-to-school sales tax holiday, taking place August 5-7. Each business should be receiving the Department of Revenue’s Tax Information Publication listing all the eligible items for the holiday in the coming days, but we wanted to share this document with you as soon as possible so you can begin preparing your business accordingly. Reminder that there is an opt-out provision for those qualified businesses whose gross sales of eligible items comprises less than 5%. Please refer to this document for a complete list of eligible items along with more info on the opt-out provision.
Published in Media Relations

For Immediate Release: March 21, 2016
CONTACT: James Miller This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850) 701-3015

Close to $150 per person expected to be spent this year on both holiday supplies and spring essentials with food, clothing, gifts and candy the most popular purchases

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 75 years, announced today that spending for the upcoming Easter weekend is expected to reach record highs as people prepare to celebrate the holiday while also stocking up on spring essentials. Those celebrating plan to spend an average of $146 per person for a national total of $17.3 billion, both records, which is up significantly over last year’s $140.62 per person and $16.4 billion total.

“This time of year means the arrival of good weather and good moods across Florida as consumers buy gifts, food and decorations to celebrate Easter with family and friends,” said FRF President & CEO Randy Miller. “People also use this weekend to purchase supplies and essentials for the spring season, meaning increased sales for retailers.”

The $146 per person spending average, according to FRF’s partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual Easter Spending Survey, is the biggest in the 13-year history of the survey, and also shows that consumers nationally will spend $5.5 billion on food, $3 billion on clothing, $2.7 billion on gifts, $2.4 billion on candy and $1.2 billion on flowers.

With shopping lists in hand, 58 percent of consumers will head to discount stores, 41 percent will go to department stores and 25 percent will shop at local small businesses. Not everyone will make it to stores: 21 percent will shop online, up from 19 percent last year. Among smartphone owners, 23 percent will research products on their devices while 15 percent will use their phones to make a purchase.

“Those stores that price and market their merchandise aggressively, and embrace the online shopping experience, will see the biggest sales,” said Miller. “There is significant opportunity for retailers this weekend as consumers look for Easter gifts as well as spring supplies.”

Consumers celebrate Easter in a number or different ways: 59 percent will visit family and friends, 56 percent will cook a holiday meal, 51 percent will go to church and 15.6 percent will go to a restaurant. Children have plenty to look forward to after the Easter Bunny comes: 31 percent of consumers plan an Easter egg hunt and 14 percent will open gifts.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
Founded in 1937, the Florida Retail Federation is 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. For more information, visit the FRF website, and follow FRF on Facebook and Twitter.

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Published in Media Relations

For Immediate Release: March 8, 2016
CONTACT: James Miller This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Suni

Spending expected to be down slightly, but will still amount to $4.4 billion nationwide; 28 percent to purchase clothing and accessories, and 22 percent plan to decorate their office or home

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 75 years, announced today that spending for St. Patrick’s Day is expected to be $35.37 per person this year, down slightly from last year’s $36.52. Total spending nationally for the March 17 holiday is expected to reach $4.4 billion based on U.S. population 18 and older.

“Florida retailers can expect to see a nice bump in their sales in the coming weeks as millions of Floridians purchase food, clothing and decorations to celebrate this festive day with friends and family,” said FRF President/CEO Randy Miller. “Springtime in the Sunshine State always puts people in a good mood, and St. Patrick’s Day is coming along at the right time for both consumers and retailers.”

According to the FRF’s national partners at the National Retail Federation, who coordinated the St. Patrick’s Day Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insight and Analytics, fans of St. Patrick’s Day plan to celebrate in a number of ways. According to the survey, 82 percent will wear green to show their Irish pride, 31 percent plan to make a special dinner, 29 percent will head to a party at a bar or restaurant and 21 percent will attend a private party. In addition, 23 percent plan to decorate their homes or offices in an Irish theme.

According to the survey, 57 percent of those celebrating will purchase food and beverages, 28 percent will buy apparel or accessories, 23 percent will buy decorations and 17 percent will buy candy. The survey asked for the first time where consumers will make their St. Patrick’s Day purchases. More than a third, 36 percent, plan to do so at a grocery store, 30 percent at discount stores and 20.8 percent at bars and restaurants.

The holiday is most popular among individuals 18-24 years old with 70 percent celebrating but those 25-34 years old will be the biggest spenders at an average $42.58.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION Founded in 1937, the Florida Retail Federation is 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.

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Published in Media Relations
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 16:02

Valentine's Day Spending to Rise

For Immediate Release: February 3, 2016
CONTACT: James Miller This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Valentine's Day

Average Floridian expected to spend $150 this year with candy, restaurants and jewelry the most popular

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 75 years, announced that the average consumer will spend almost $150 per person this year for Valentine’s Day on flowers, jewelry, candy, apparel, nights out and more, an increase over 2015. Total spending nationally for this consumer holiday is expected to reach close to $20 billion, a survey high.

“Valentine’s Day continues to play a significant role in the bottom line for Florida retailers, as consumers buy gifts to show their affection for their loved ones,” said FRF President/CEO Randy Miller. “With an improving Florida economy combined with low gas prices, and great deals on popular merchandise and meals, we expect retailers and consumers to love this year’s Valentine’s Day shopping season.”

Consumers will spend an average of $146.84, up from $142.31 last year, according to FRF’s partners at the National Retail Federation’s Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, and total spending is expected to reach $19.7 billion, a survey high.

When it comes to the top gifts this Valentine’s Day, 50 percent of consumers surveyed said they plan to buy candy, spending a total of $1.7 billion. Nearly four in 10 of those celebrating the holiday (38.3%) plan to treat their dates to a night out at a restaurant, tickets to a show or another experience, spending a record total of $4.5 billion, the highest since NRF began tracking spending on gifts in 2010.

“Retailers have come up with incredibly creative merchandise over the years, resulting in different price points that should appeal to even the most frugal consumer,” said Miller. “We’re confident that every Florida shopper can find that perfect gift for their loved one.”

Another $4.4 billion will be spent on necklaces, earrings and other jewelry items, with nearly one in five (19.9%) planning to treat their significant other or family member to something precious; nearly half (47.9%) of those celebrating will spend $1.1 billion on greeting cards. Additionally, it is estimated $2 billion will be spent on apparel and $1.9 billion will be spent on flowers.

Florida's husbands, wives and significant others are the ones in for the real treat this Valentine’s Day. According to the survey, 90.8 percent of consumers said they would buy something for their significant other/spouse and are planning to spend an average of $89.86, up from $87.94 last year. Total spending on significant others/spouses is expected to reach $12 billion.

Additionally, consumers will spend an average of $27.79 on other family members like children and parents, $7.08 on children’s classmates and teachers and $5.83 on co-workers.

One thing that remains true is Floridians’ clear desire to celebrate holidays with their pets: according to the survey, consumers will spend $681 million to treat their favorite pets to Valentine’s Day delights.

Department stores will see the most traffic this Valentine’s Day (34.5%) and nearly one-third (31%) will shop at their favorite discount store. Additionally, 27.9 percent plan to shop online, 19.4 percent will visit a florist, 19.1 will visit a specialty store, and 15.4 percent will shop small at a local, small business.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
Founded in 1937, the Florida Retail Federation is 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. For more information, visit the FRF website, and follow FRF on Facebook and Twitter.

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Published in Media Relations

For Immediate Release: December 16, 2015
CONTACT: James Miller This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Just 10 percent of shoppers have bought all of the gifts on their lists, while a little more than half of the items on people’s lists still need to be purchased; Overall sales up 3 percent over 2014

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 75 years, announced today that just one out of every ten consumers have completed their shopping list, while just 54 percent of the total items on people’s lists have been purchased. Additionally, it’s been a mixed bag for retailers as sales are up more than 3 percent over 2014 so far, but prices are down 2.9 percent. “Due to so many people with so much left to buy on their gift lists, it should make for a great finish to this holiday shopping season for retailers and consumers,” said FRF President/CEO Rick McAllister. “Retailers are responding to the demands of consumers by offering lower prices, which means a greater volume of sales overall, while shoppers win out by being able to purchase more for their dollar.”

According to the National Retail Federation’s final consumer holiday spending survey of the season, the average holiday shopper has completed 53.5 percent of their shopping, similar to the 52.9 percent seen this time last year. Approximately 10 percent of holiday shoppers say they are finished – or 22.6 million people; that means 90 percent of holiday shoppers still have gifts, food, décor and/or other holiday items to buy.

The biggest reason people say they have waited to shop? They are still trying to figure out what to buy: 44.8 percent said they are still weighing their choices between gifts. Additionally, 28.8 percent said they wait until mid to late December because their friends and family haven’t given them enough ideas as to what they want and 22 percent are waiting for the best deals on holiday merchandise. One in five admit they are simply just a procrastinator. When asked when they believe they will purchase their last gift, 33 percent said sometime before December 18, though 10 percent are planning to wait until December 23.

Retail sales for November — excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants — were up 3 percent from a year ago. A closer look at the numbers reveals that while fewer dollars are coming in than expected, that doesn’t mean consumers are shopping less. In fact, unit volume appears to be up. The issue is that prices are down. And that means the same number of sweaters, toys or electronic gadgets sold brings retailers less revenue.

“More than anything, perhaps, is that consumers have become conditioned to expect discounts and promotions,” said McAllister. “It’s important that all retailers recognize this changing dynamic and reflect this change in their prices to ensure a profitable finish to the holiday season.”

A number of factors are behind the lower prices — inventories are stable but elevated, in part due to the flood of merchandise that came into the country earlier this year after the labor dispute that brought West Coast ports to a crawl ended. Warm weather has reduced demand for seasonal items like coats and sweaters. Much of the extra money freed up by lower gasoline prices has gone to services such as travel and restaurants rather than retail merchandise. In addition, most consumers have seen little in the way of wage increases. Rent, health care costs and even the amount spent on communications like smartphones, tablets and broadband Internet service are all up.

While prices may be down, demand is certainly up. November sales were generally solid, with strength seen in sales of electronics, food and beverage, clothing, sporting goods, general merchandise and on-line and other non-store sales.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
Founded in 1937, the Florida Retail Federation is 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. For more information, visit the FRF website, and follow FRF on Facebook and Twitter.

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Published in Media Relations
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