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Florida retailers expect a dip in sales this Fourth of July

“Anytime the July 4 holiday lands midweek, we expect there to be a slight dip.”

The Florida Retail Federation is expecting a slight dip in the Fourth of July holiday spending this year. The group anticipates celebrants will spend about $73 per person this year.

“Anytime the July 4 holiday lands midweek, we expect there to be a slight dip in spending, but a per person average of $73 is still incredibly high and we fully expect most Floridians to celebrate with themed food, clothes, decorations and, of course, fireworks,” said Florida Retail Federation President and CEO R. Scott Shalley. “Sunshine State retailers should expect significant sales leading up to the fourth, and we look forward to seeing the creative deals and discounts that Florida’s 270,000 retailers come up with to drive traffic to their stores.”

Independence Day falls on Thursday this year, meaning some people might cut their celebrations early to head back to work Friday morning. 

Still, nationwide spending this year is expected to be one of the highest on record at more than $6.7 billion. If that forecast holds, it will be the third highest in history.

Last year was the second highest on-record with $6.9 billion in Fourth of July spending, even though last year’s holiday fell on a Wednesday. Fewer people this year say they plan to participate in things like cookouts, fireworks displays or community events, according to a Florida Retail Federation survey.

That survey found 86 percent of respondents said they plan to observe the holiday, down from 87 percent last year. Of those, 61 percent plan to attend a cookout or picnic, 40 percent plan to attend a fireworks display or community celebration and 11 percent say they will go to a parade. Another 14 percent are traveling.

Spending forecasts are higher among men than women. Men are expected to spend $79 this year while women are only projected to spend $68. People aged 35-44 will spend the most at $81, according to the Florida Retail Federation estimates. Young adults aged 18-24 will spend the least, $74.

The survey also found that 61 percent of consumers already own an American flag and 52 percent already own patriotic apparel. Of those surveyed, 26 percent said they still plan to purchase additional patriotic merchandise. 

The Florida Retail Federation surveyed more than 7,500 consumers. The group is the statewide trade association representing retailers who sell goods directly to consumers. 

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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