With the holidays fast approaching, Florida retailers are expecting a strong shopping season.
The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) announced on Thursday that it expects an increase of 5 percent in consumer spending in the Sunshine State over last year. That compares to a 4.1 percent increase at the national level.
Consumer spending is the engine that drives Floridas economy, and steady gains in consumer confidence and employment put shoppers in the mood to celebrate with gifts for family, friends and something extra for themselves, said FRF President and CEO Rick McAllister on Thursday. Employment is up another 2.7 percent this year compared to last year and tourism numbers are strong.
McAllister said the increase in tourism to the Sunshine State is also boosting sales.
Sunshine clearly puts visitors in the mood to shop, McAllister said. Florida retailers can count on tourists who come to spend the holidays to take home much more than they bring.
McAllister also noted that more retailers are using technology to reach out to consumers.
Retailers are also doing more to reach consumers online as technology continues to expand its role in the overall holiday shopping experience, McAllister said. Three out of 10 retailers surveyed planned to supplement their digital marketing efforts with social media including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.
Gift cards sales are also on the rise with 60 percent of customers saying they intend to buy them this year. The same percentage of shoppers hope to receive gift cards this year.