For Immediate Release: November 18, 2015
Positive economic indicators and the state’s continued growth means Sunshine State retailers can expect a healthy and successful holiday season
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 75 years, announced today that Florida retailers are in for a busy and successful holiday shopping season behind the strength of numerous positive economic indicators and a healthy economic climate overall in Florida. FRF is calling for a 4.5 percent increase in sales for Sunshine State retailers, which would outpace the predicted national average of 3.5 percent, or 40 percent higher. This continues a recent hot streak for Florida retailers which included a record-tying 10-day back-to-school sales tax holiday period in August and a successful Halloween season.
“Florida continues to see a strong increase in its economy thanks to record-setting tourism, increased consumer confidence, a surging real estate market, and a seven year low in unemployment, all of which mean big expectations for retailers this holiday season,” said FRF President/CEO Rick McAllister. “Specifically, increased consumer confidence means increased consumer spending, and confident shoppers like to celebrate the holidays by buying gifts, decorations and food for their family and friends.”
Consumers are expected to spend an average of $805 on gifts, up from 2014, and the highest in the 14-year history of a survey provided by FRF’s partners at the National Retail Federation. Consumer spending accounts for 75 percent of Florida’s gross domestic product totaling $155 billion each year. In particular, the holiday shopping season accounts for 20-40 percent of a retailer’s annual sales and steady year-over-year sales shows increasing economy stability. Florida’s retail industry totals more than 270,000 businesses which employ 2.7 million Floridians, and is responsible for one out of every four jobs.
One major advantage that Florida has over most other states is the influx of more than 100 million tourists, almost all of whom leave the state with more than they brought, bringing even more buying power with them. Surveys consistently list shopping as one of the top activities on the agendas of Florida vacations. And in an effort to attract shoppers of all types, retailers will be offering exclusive incentives, low prices, price-matching options, hot-selling toys and free shipping, which continues to be one of the most popular requested promotions each year.
“Tourism plays such an important role in the success of our state, and retailers benefit greatly from tourists choosing to spend their hard earned money in Florida, by buying gifts, supplies and mementos of their time here,” said McAllister. “Retailers are responding by offering discounts, free shipping and other services that make the shopping experience easier and even more enjoyable.”
Sunshine State shoppers will load up on the most popular items this year which are gift cards, electronics, apparel & footwear, toys & games, and food. The most popular toys this holiday season will include Star Wars Lightsabers and action figures, Shopkins, Paw Patrol toys, and the Guitar Hero Live video game, with Barbies and LEGOs also remaining popular once again. The big ticket items include smartphones and tablets, TVs, video games and video game systems. The stores that will see the biggest increases in 2015 include furniture and home furnishings stores, clothing stores, health and personal care stores and electronics and appliance stores.
One piece of advice to shoppers is if you see a good deal on an item early on in your shopping, make sure to buy it then as opposed to waiting and hoping for a better deal. Just as technology has made shoppers smarter and more savvy, it has also allowed retailers to better respond to demand by matching their inventory and not overstocking their merchandise. Speaking of early shopping, 40 percent of shoppers began their holiday shopping before Halloween to help spread out their spending with 66 percent starting prior to Thanksgiving.
“People always wonder why retailers roll out their holiday displays and items as early as they do,” said McAllister. “With millions of Floridians starting their holiday shopping in October, it’s important for retailers to respond to those shopping habits, and make sure they’re capturing those customers by providing them with the same memorable shopping experience before Thanksgiving that they would receive after it.”
One of the positive impacts of the holiday shopping season is the increase in employment. These jobs include workers stocking inventory, customer service, warehousing and even management. Nationally, the industry is expected to see between 700,000-750,000 seasonal jobs. The increase in hiring and the increase in economic activity during the holiday season have a positive impact on industries outside of just retail.
“Skeptics may point to these holiday jobs as being temporary employment, but every temporary job has the potential to turn into a permanent one and provide someone with a chance to make consistent money for their family,” said McAllister. “Retail still remains the best industry for young, new or returning workers to find employment, learn valuable skills and grow themselves professionally.”
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.
Basic Tip: “Black Friday” is one of the busiest days of the shopping holiday seasons. To make sure you and your staff are adequately prepared, have a plan that encompasses: Hours of operation, adequate staffing to have complete coverage of full shopping sales floor, important/emergency contact numbers.
For Immediate Release: October 1, 2015
Average person expected to spend almost $75 this year on Halloween candy, decorations, and costumes
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 75 years, announced today that the average person celebrating Halloween this year will spend $74.34, compared with $77.52 last year. Total spending nationally on Halloween is expected to reach $6.9 billion, according to the National Retail Federation’s Halloween Consumer Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.
“Even though the national survey shows a decrease in spending on Halloween this year, we don’t expect that trend will hold true in Florida due to the many positive economic indicators showing the continued strength of our state’s economy,” said FRF President/CEO Rick McAllister. “Recent consumer confidence remains high, real estate continues to surge and state revenues continue to increase, all pointing to a healthy 2015 for retailers and consumers.”
Consumers celebrating Halloween plan to spend an average of $27.33 on costumes for the whole family, and a total of $2.5 billion on store-bought, homemade, large and small costumes. Those celebrating will spend the most on adult costumes ($1.2 billion), and will spend a total of $950 million on children’s costumes and $350 million on fashionable and fun costumes for their furry friends. It’s estimated that 68 million Americans will dress up this Halloween and another 20 million pet owners will dress up their pet.
Nine in 10 (93.7%) Halloween shoppers will buy candy, spending a total of $2.1 billion, and an additional 33.5 percent will buy greeting cards, spending a total of $330 million. Two in five celebrants (44.8%) plan to decorate their home or yard, meaning there’s no question consumers will see their fair share of pumpkins, hay bales and even life-size Minions and black cats strewn across their neighborhoods. The average person planning to buy decorations will spend $20.34 with total spending expected to reach $1.9 billion.
When it comes to how consumers plan to celebrate, most will hand out candy (67.8%), or dress in costume (43.5%), though there will be no shortage of jack-o-lanterns lighting up windows this year with 41 percent of people planning to carve pumpkins. Nearly one-third of consumers (31.5%) plan to throw or attend a party with friends and family.
More consumers have decided to head to stores or shop online early to pick out costumes and decorations. More than one-third of consumers (34.1%) will start their Halloween shopping before the first of October, up slightly from 32.1 percent last year, while 40.9 percent will get started in the first half of the month and one-quarter (25%) of celebrants will wait for the final weeks of October.
Similar to past years, the majority of consumers will find inspiration for their costumes online (31.4%) or will head to costume shops and retail stores (26.8%) before they make a final decision.
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: August 3, 2015
TALLAHASSEE, FL –The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 75 years, reminds Florida families that the state’s annual back-to-school sales tax holiday begins this Friday, August 7 and lasts through August 16. This 10-day extension equals the longest back-to-school shopping holiday since it was first started in 1998 and allows shoppers two full weekends to complete their buying needs.
“We are excited about the extended sales tax holiday that families and shoppers of all ages will be able to take advantage of,” said FRF President/CEO Rick McAllister. “Florida’s more than 270,000 retailers have been preparing for this popular holiday and are ready with great sales and opportunities for shoppers to save on clothing, supplies and technology items.”
Florida’s Department of Revenue released the official list of items eligible for this year’s back-to-school sales tax holiday including additional information for those businesses participating in this annual event. FRF was proud to do our part in working closely with the state legislature and Governor’s office in ensuring the back-to-school sales tax holiday was renewed for this year.
We hope all of our members enjoy a successful and profitable summer shopping season.