Monday, 15 April 2019 15:40

Another "Egg-Cellent" Easter Spending Season Expected

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For Immediate Release: April 15, 2019
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Consumers expected to spend $151 per person, down slightly from last year, but still the second-highest all-time; Food, clothing, candy, flowers and decorations lead the way in popularity

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association celebrating more than 80 years of supporting Florida’s retail industry, expects spending on Easter to reach near record numbers, with the average per person spending $151, second highest in survey history. The total expected to be spent nationally is a healthy $18.11 billion, a slight dip from last year’s total of $18.16 billion.

“Our economy remains strong and consumers have more money in their pockets to spend," said FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “Consumers will be looking for the best deals on candy, decorations, flowers and cards. The savviest retailers will take advantage of this robust spending.”

According to the survey, which was conducted by FRF’s national partners at the National Retail Federation, consumers are also projected to spend $5.74 billion on food, $3.27 billion on clothing, $2.87 billion on gifts, $1.29 billion on flowers, just over $1 billion on decorations and $780 million on greeting cards.

With nearly 80 percent of survey respondents expected to celebrate, shoppers are projected to spend a little more on average: $151.25 in 2019 vs. $150.05 in 2018. This year’s projection just missed 2017’s record average of $151.91.

Eighty-seven percent of Easter shoppers are expected to buy candy, spending $2.49 billion. That’s down from $2.63 billion in 2018.

More than half of consumers (54 percent) plan to cook a holiday meal, while 16 percent will let a restaurant handle holiday food preparations. Less than half (49 percent) of shoppers will attend church on Easter, and 15 percent will open gifts. Just under a third of consumers are planning an Easter egg hunt for the little ones in their lives.

A subset of shoppers — 21 percent of survey respondents — don’t plan to celebrate Easter, but that won’t stop them from hitting post-holiday sales. Nearly half (48 percent) plan to spend after Easter at an average of $19.

The survey revealed younger adults are especially excited for Easter, with 85 percent of survey respondents ages 18-34 and 80 percent of respondents ages 35-54 planning to celebrate.

Shoppers under 35 are also more inclined to hop on their smartphones to assist in Easter shopping. In 2015, 24 percent of these consumers planned to use smartphones to help with purchasing decisions around the holiday. It jumped to 37 percent in 2019.

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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Tuesday, 02 April 2019 10:16

States Restoring Free Markets a Win for Everyone

Written by

RILA Contact: Jason Brewer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (703) 600-2044
For Immediate Release
FRF Contact: James Miller This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (321) 229-9266

Arlington, VA - Following the success of legislation and executive action in more than 35 states across the country, retailers continue to applaud governors and state legislators for acting swiftly to close the online sales tax loophole.

State action on this long-standing priority for the retail community followed the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc, which determined that states can collect and remit sales tax from out of state sellers who sell certain amounts, either by transactions or revenue, into a state. In the immediate aftermath of the Court’s ruling, states began the process of reviewing and updating their existing statutes to begin the process of requiring remote sellers to begin sales tax collection.

“Both red and blue state lawmakers have acknowledged that this is about restoring free-market principles and that no government should be in the business of picking winners and losers with the tax code,” said Jason Brewer, Executive Vice President for Communications and State Affairs. “In addition to restoring basic fairness, these laws help ensure that state and local governments have the ability to fund important priorities without raising taxes.”

“In the wake of the WayFair ruling, states have proceeded with extreme thoughtfulness to ensure state laws follow the spirit of the Court’s ruling. These laws are an important boost for local retailers that create jobs and invest in the community."

R. Scott Shalley, president & CEO of the Florida Retail Federation, added, “We are glad to see these state legislatures taking action to support those retailers that invest in their respective states. Given Florida’s longstanding history of being business friendly, we remain optimistic that the Florida Legislature will soon follow suit and level the playing field for Florida’s 270,000 retailers.”

ICYMI: R. Scott Shalley: Let us Compete

About the Retail Industry Leaders Association

RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to reimagine and transform the retail ecosystem - and equip leading retailers to succeed in it.

RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

About the Florida Retail Federation,
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing 270,000 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 more information, visit the FRF website, and follow FRF on Twitter.

RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to reimagine and transform the retail ecosystem - and equip leading retailers to succeed in it.

RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

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Important information regarding February and March SNAP benefits

SNAP customers who are not renewing in February will receive half of their March benefits on March 1, 2019 and half on their regularly assigned day.

When will SNAP customers who are renewing benefits in February receive their benefits?

  • If the customer's renewal is approved by February 16th for the month of March, half of their benefits benefits will be distributed on March 1st and the other half on their regularly assigned day.
  • If the customer's renewal is approved on or after February 17th for the month of March, their case will be processed as usual and full benefits for March will be available on their regularly assigned day.
  • New approved applications will be processed as usual and March benefits will be available on the assigned day.
  • Click here to download the SNAP customer split issuance FAQ flyer.

For Immediate Release: February 11, 2019
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Even though fewer consumers plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, those who are plan on spending a record amount this year, averaging $162 per person

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 80 years, says that in spite of fewer consumers showering a special someone with flowers and gifts for Valentine’s Day, the average spent per person is expected to reach a record high of $162, for a total nationally of almost $21 billion in sales.

“Another special event on the calendar and another spending record is expected, once again reinforcing the strength of the economy both statewide and nationally,” said FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “More consumers are employed with more money to spend, meaning great sales opportunities for retailers throughout Florida.”

Thanks to a survey done by FRF’s partners at the National Retail Federation, those surveyed said they would spend an average $161.96. That’s up 13 percent from last year’s $143.56 and easily tops the previous record of $146.84 set in 2016. Total spending is expected to be $20.7 billion, which is an increase of 6 percent over last year’s $19.6 billion and breaks the previous record of $19.7 billion, also set in 2016.

The spending increases come even though only 51 percent of Americans plan to celebrate the holiday, down from 55 percent last year and a high of 63 percent in 2007. It is unclear why the number of consumers celebrating has trended downward over the past 12 years, but spending, while varying with the economy, has generally trended up. The lowest spending during the period was $102.50 in 2009 during the Great Recession.

Of the $18.40 increase in average spending, only $4.26 comes from spending on spouses and significant others, which is expected to total $93.24. Consumers said they would spend $29.87 on other family members, up $4.58; $9.78 on friends, up $2.59; $8.63 on children’s classmates or teachers, up $1.37; $7.78 on co-workers, up $2.99; $6.94 on pets, up $1.44 and $5.72 on others, up $1.17.

As in each year of the survey, men are the biggest spenders at $229.54, up 20 percent from last year. That’s more than double the $97.77 women said they would spend, which is down 1 percent, and is within the survey’s margin of error.

Among age groups, those 35-44 are the biggest Valentine spenders at $279.14, followed by those 25-34 at $239.07. Both groups typically have more people to buy for including children and children’s classmates or teachers.

Gifts for pets continue to be popular, purchased by 20 percent. Pet spending is expected to total $886 million, up $519 million since NRF first asked in 2008.

Those celebrating plan to spend $3.9 billion on jewelry (given by 18 percent), $3.5 billion on an evening out (34 percent), $2.1 billion on clothing (18 percent), $1.9 billion on flowers (35 percent), $1.8 billion on candy (52 percent), $1.3 billion on gift cards (15 percent) and $933 million on greeting cards (44 percent). Gifts of experience such as tickets to an event or a trip to a spa are wanted by 40 percent and planned to be given by 25 percent.

“With so many different ways to show your love for someone – from flowers to candy to gift cards to jewelry – Sunshine State retailers have everything someone would need to make their Valentine’s Day special,” said Shalley.

Department stores are the most popular Valentine’s Day shopping destination, visited by 35 percent of shoppers, followed by discount stores (32 percent), online (27 percent), specialty stores (18 percent) florists (16 percent), small or local businesses (14 percent), jewelry stores and specialty clothing stores (each 9 percent).

Even among those who don’t plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day as such, 11 percent plan to treat themselves to gifts like clothing or jewelry and 9 percent plan to get together with other single friends or family.

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.

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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