With a robust state economy, the Florida Retail Federation expects retailers will have a healthy and happy holiday season.
The statewide trade association for retailers forecasts holiday retail sales at a 3 percent to 3.5 percent increase over 2016. Typically, holiday spending in the state hovers at or above that of the rest of the country. "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".
Shalley pointed to Florida's booming tourism industry, low unemployment rate, and strong housing market - key factors he said should provide a boost to the retail industry during the holiday shopping rush. "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".
Total spending is expected to increase nationally to more than $678 billion, up from $655 billion a year ago.
Across the nation, according to the National Retail Federation, the average consumer is going to spend $967 on gifts this season, up from $935 previous year and higher than the record of $952 in 2015.
According to the data, personalization is a critical battleground for retailers during the holiday season, as 65% of consumers said personalization and promotions are most important to them in their shopping experience. There are 32 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas one more than past year as well as four Saturdays before Christmas, which hasnt happened since 2012.
But he advises consumers that if they see a good deal on an item early, they should buy it instead of holding out for a better deal.
In Florida, consumer spending accounts for 75 percent of the state's gross domestic product, totaling $155 billion each year, the state's retail federation said.
Shalley also noted the important role retailers play in job creation as more than 270,000 businesses employ 2.7 million Floridians, ensuring one out of five residents of the state work in that industry.