FRF

FRF

For Immediate Release: December 13, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

The 3rd District Court of Appeals ruled today in favor of three of Florida’s major business associations – Florida Retail Federation, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and the Florida Chamber of Commerce – who filed a lawsuit challenging a minimum wage ordinance passed by City of Miami Beach

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation, Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association all celebrated today’s ruling by the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Miami which affirmed a lower court’s ruling invalidating the minimum wage ordinance recently adopted by the City of Miami Beach. The circuit ruling was appealed by the City in March and the ruling denying that appeal was announced earlier today. The three leading business associations originally filed the suit against the ordinance proposing to raise the minimum wage in spite of a state preemption, because it was not valid under section 218.077 F.S. which preempts local minimum wages. Charles Caulkins, James Polkinghorn and Candice Pinares-Baez of the South Florida law firm Fisher Philips LLP represented the business associations in this case.

“This victory today in the district court of appeals is also a victory for businesses,” said R. Scott Shalley, FRF President & CEO. “This ruling sets a precedent for all municipalities discouraging them from passing local ordinances which are in direct violation of state law while also negatively impacting their local businesses. FRF and our coalition partners will continue to protect all Florida businesses against any rules or regulations that may impact their ability to be successful.”

“We applaud the court for siding with job creation and against additional government mandates, and for siding with Floridians looking for jobs and small businesses who are creating them. If communities are serious about creating opportunities for higher wages, they should invest in removing barriers to empower entrepreneurs to grow the economic base – produce more and pay more – based on markets and consumer needs,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

“We applaud the court’s decision, which should send a message to local governments around the state that, however well intended, each level of government has its limitations on their authority,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.

In December 2016, the City of Miami Beach passed a city ordinance raising the minimum wage to $10.31/hour starting January 1, 2018, and increasing it $1.00/year until it reaches $13.31 in 2021. FRF and its coalition partners argued that the ordinance disregarded a state statute which established the State of Florida will determine one consistent minimum wage for the entire state. This state statute allows for local government entities to adopt ordinances to exceed this wage for those working or contracting with the local government. FRF and the business coalition successfully won that lawsuit in March due to a ruling from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The City of Miami Beach then filed an appeal in December 2016 with the 3rd District Court of Appeals who announced its decision today in favor of the coalition.

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 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.

About the Florida CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

About the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
FRLA is Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality industry trade association. Our mission is to ‘Protect, Educate and Promote’ Florida’s $108.8 billion hospitality industry which represents 1.4 million employees - making it the state’s number one industry. We offer regulatory compliance and food safety training needs (RCS and SafeStaff®); industry developed career-building high school programs (FRLAEF); sponsor the only event in Florida exclusively serving the restaurant and foodservice industry (FR&L Show, September 10-12, 2017 in Orlando); and we safeguard the needs of the hospitality industry by providing legislative advocacy. We represent and serve more than 10,000 independent and household name members, suppliers, and theme parks. For more information, go to www.FRLA.org and find us on Twitter @FRLAnews, Facebook and YouTube.

###

By Clayton Park
www.news-journalonline.com

DAYTONA BEACH — Ted Teschner, owner of the Mr. Dunderbak’s restaurant at Volusia Mall, was expecting a busy day feeding hungry shoppers on Black Friday, but was surprised at just how busy it got.

“Our Black Friday may have been the best we’ve ever had,” said the longtime mall tenant, who celebrated 42 years in business this past week. “It was a 25 percent increase (in sales) over last year and last year was pretty good. We weren’t adequately staffed. It was like a steamroller.”

Teschner added that business for his eatery since then has remained up “closer to 5 to 10 percent” over the same time last year.

With the holiday shopping season approaching the midway mark, local retailers and restaurateurs said sales are on pace to exceed last year’s numbers.

“Black Friday was very crazy,” said Kelvin Oats, assistant store leader at the GameStop store at Volusia Mall. Oats added that the store on the day after Thanksgiving, the traditional kickoff to the holiday shopping season, sold out of its entire inventory of Playstation 4 Slim game consoles in just two hours. “It’s going pretty good,” he added of sales at the store since then.

Corrine Conforto, manager of the FYE entertainment/toy store at Volusia Mall, also reported a strong start to the holiday season.

“We had a constant line at the (cash) registers for most of the day (on Black Friday),” she said, adding that the store was the second-best performing FYE location that day in the district, which covers several counties.

“It’s been a great holiday season so far,” Conforto said, adding that some of the top selling items at her store have been Fingerlings toys, which she described as “animatronic monkeys that sit on your hand and make noise,” Hatchimals and drones.

At the Tanger Outlets, General Manager Scott Sadove said in an email, “We’ve seen a lot of traffic at our center and expect to see it through the holiday.”

And it’s not just stores at the area’s major shopping centers that say they are doing well.

On East Granada Boulevard in Ormond Beach, Angela Heaster, owner of the beachside Gaslamp Gift Gallery, said, “Both Black Friday and Small Business Saturday (also on Thanksgiving weekend) were very successful. We were definitely busier than we anticipated. It was wonderful.”

Heaster, who with her husband, own the Gaslamp Shoppes on Granada that includes her shop as well as several other independent shops and restaurants, said she has heard similar reports from her tenants.

“I think people are feeling more comfortable spending money,” she said, crediting the increased sales in part to the improving economy and rising consumer confidence.

Jeff Sidwell, owner of the Bon Gourmet wine-and-cheese shop at the Gaslamp Shoppes, said, “The holiday season seems like its gotten off to a rapid start better than last year and last year was strong.”

“A lot of people have been moving to town so we’re always meeting new people,” he added.

The Florida Retail Federation prior to the start of the holiday shopping season predicted that retail spending statewide would be up 3 to 3.5 percent over last year’s holiday season.

“So far, everything we’ve heard from our members, both big and small, is that everyone seems to be pleased,” said James Miller, a spokesman for the Florida Retail Federation.

And because Christmas this year falls on a Monday, that means the holiday shopping season will span five weekends, as opposed to just four most years.

“Having that extra weekend before Christmas is going to be huge,” Miller said. “The final weekend (before Christmas) is traditional the biggest (for retail sales).”

This year, shoppers in the Daytona Beach area have more options than ever, thanks to the new stores and restaurants opening at the new One Daytona retail/dining/entertainment complex across the street from Daytona International Speedway, and the Tanger Outlets mall on the east side of Interstate 95, which opened in November of last year.

In an effort to compete, not just with each other but also online retailers, local shopping centers, including Volusia Mall, Tanger and One Daytona are also offering entertainment and other special events during the holidays.

This Saturday, Tanger will hold a holiday tree-lighting event and will be offering “Selfies with Santa” events each Saturday afternoon through the rest of the month where children can have their photos taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Volusia Mall has a Santa’s village display in its Center Court where kids can have their photos taken with Old Saint Nick. Mall spokeswoman Kristina Circelli said a free afternoon concert is also planned at Center Court on Dec. 23 (and possibly also on Dec. 16). The mall also offers daily kids train rides.

One Daytona on Thursday kicked off its year-round offerings of daily live music and special events every Thursday through Sunday. The center will also hold a “Family Night On The Front Lawn” event on Dec. 16 that includes a s’mores bar, holiday carolers, face-painting and balloon animals, and a children’s story time.

All are line with what national retail consultant Howard Davidowitz described as necessary efforts by malls to “Amazon-proof themselves.”

Davidowitz, earlier this fall, said entertainment and special events can be a key to success for malls and brick-and-mortar retailers in seeking to compete with online retail giants such as Amazon.com.

“Malls need to focus on experiential offerings,” he said.

At Volusia Mall, Teschner of Mr. Dunderbak’s, said the Saturday before Christmas for his restaurant is typically 50 percent to twice as busy as it is on Black Friday. Gift baskets of gourmet food and deli items are especially good sellers at his eatery that day, he said, adding that many of those last-minute shoppers are typically men.

“It’s nice that we’re kind of like a tradition for some folks,” he said. read more

by John Lucas
thecapitolist.com

Florida retailers seem pleased with the start of the holiday shopping season.

It started with Black Friday, which actually started before Friday. Then came Cyber Monday.

“Via anecdotal conversations with large and small retailers and research we’ve seen, everyone seems happy with the turnout, whether it be via in-store or online,” said James Miller with the Florida Retail Federation (FRF).

FRF has predicted a 3-3.5 percent increase in sales this holiday season in Florida.

“There may have been slightly smaller crowds, but that was more than made up for via online sales,” Miller added. “Lots of our small retailers were very happy with the turnout in their stores. Cyber Monday is slated to be the biggest one ever, so all of these signs point to a very strong start to the retail season.”

The holiday shopping season accounts for 20-40 percent of a retailer’s annual sales. The National Retail Federation estimates consumers will spend an average of $967 on gifts this year. That’s an increase of $32 per person over last year’s holiday shopping numbers, and $15 more than the record-setting sales year of 2015.

“This season should be another strong one for our retail members, thanks to a 10 year low unemployment rate, a strong housing market, high consumer confidence and 100 million tourists leaving with more than what they came with,” said FRF President/CEO Scott Shalley.

Shalley says Hurricane Irma played a “significant factor” on the holiday shopping forecast for Florida this year. Irma caused damage in major population areas across most of the state and many residents are still recovering. But FRF says the overall strength of the state’s economy and the resilience of the state’s retail industry will help offset the potential loss of sales.

“Hurricane Irma hit our state extremely hard, particularly in these areas, and we factored in this impact in our forecast, but we feel the overall strength of our economy and the incredible recovery efforts that have taken place will help lessen the impact on retail sales this holiday season,” said Shalley.

Being a popular tourist destination gives an added boost to Florida’s holiday shopping figures. Surveys consistently list shopping as one of the top activities on the agendas of people who come to Florida for a vacation.

“Tourism continues to be a powerful influence on the success of Florida’s economy and specifically the retail industry, and 2017 is expected to set a new record on number of tourists which is great news for our members,” said Shalley.

The popular items on people’s shopping lists for this holiday season are gift cards for the 11th year in a row, followed by clothing and accessories, books, movies or music, electronics, home décor and furnishings and jewelry. read more

For Immediate Release: November 20, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

In spite of the impacts of Hurricane Irma on Florida, FRF is still predicting a 3-3.5% increase in sales over 2016, thanks to high consumer confidence, robust housing, a 10-yr low unemployment rate and 100+ million tourists

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association celebrating its 80th year of representing retailers, announced today it expects holiday sales to increase 3-3.5 percent over last year, thanks to a healthy economy and a number of positive economic indicators.

“This season should be another strong one for our retail members, thanks to a 10 year low unemployment rate, a strong housing market, high consumer confidence and 100 million tourists leaving with more than what they came with,” said FRF President/CEO Scott Shalley. “Due to the increased competition among retailers, consumers should expect great deals and discounts as they enjoy the annual holiday shopping season with friends and family.”

The impact of Hurricane Irma on Floridians played a significant factor in the final forecast number for FRF. The storm caused damage in major population areas in Southwest Florida, South Florida and the Keys and the Jacksonville area. Many residents are still recovering and possibly unable to spend as much on holiday shopping this year. However, the overall strength of Florida’s economy and the resilience of the state’s retail industry will help make up for this potential loss of sales.

“Hurricane Irma hit our state extremely hard, particularly in these areas, and we factored in this impact in our forecast, but we feel the overall strength of our economy and the incredible recovery efforts that have taken place will help lessen the impact on retail sales this holiday season,” said Shalley.

Consumers are expected to spend an average of $967 on gifts, according to FRF’s partners at the National Retail Federation, which is up significantly from 2016’s average of $935 and higher than the previous record of $952 in 2015. This breaks down to $608 spent on gifts for family, friends and co-workers, $218 spent on decorations, flowers and greeting cards, and $141 spent by the shopper on themselves. Total spending is expected to increase to more than $678 billion, up from $655 billion last year thanks in part to the continued growth and spending of Millennials.

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 five jobs.

One continued significant advantage that Florida enjoys 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 continues to be a powerful influence on the success of Florida’s economy and specifically the retail industry, and 2017 is expected to set a new record on number of tourists which is great news for our members,” said Shalley.

Sunshine State shoppers will load up on the most popular items this year, led by gift cards for the 11th year in a row, followed by clothing and accessories, books, movies or music, electronics, home décor and furnishings and jewelry. The most popular toys this holiday season will include Hatchimals, Toys from the new Star Wars and Justice League movies, Barbies and LEGOS, Nerf toys, and toys from Disney Junior shows.

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 29 percent complete by Black Friday.

“Retailers are responding to the demand by consumers to have the holiday shopping experience prior to the traditional late November/December timeframe,” said Shalley. “This is why consumers are already seeing holiday decorations and themes in stores, as retailers try to get shoppers in the Christmas shopping mindset earlier.”

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 500,000-555,000 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.

“The holiday season is a great time for new or returning professionals to enter the workforce as millions of temporary jobs turn into full-time jobs once the holiday shopping season is over,” said Shalley. “We look forward to the thousands of new jobs that families will have this year as a result of Florida’s retail industry.”

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 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.

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.”

Page 1 of 84