Florida Retailers report ‘jolly’ holiday season

Holiday spending at retail was up 4.1% year-over-year.

Florida stores tallied up strong sales numbers to close out the year, the Florida Retail Federation says.

According to the trade association, holiday spending at retail was up 4.1% year-over-year. The improvement comes despite the adversity of a truncated shopping season and other factors.

“Florida retailers experienced a strong holiday season despite the late Thanksgiving and concerns over tariffs,” FRF President and CEO Scott Shalley said. “With 2.7 million jobs supported by Florida retailers, this successful season paid off big for our state’s economy.”

The end result is at the high end of FRF’s pre-holidays prediction of between 3.8% and 4.1% growth over 2018 numbers.

“Florida consumers were in full swing this holiday season with a real sense of confidence in the economy, as well as generosity for their families and friends,” Shalley said.

Online and other brick-and-mortars saw the biggest increases, with a nearly 15% higher rake than last year. Other encouraging trends: Grocery and beverage stores were up 2.9%; furniture and home furnishings stores reported a 2.6% increase; and health and personal care stores took in about 1.6% more at the register.

There were some drop-offs, however.

Revenues at clothing stores fell 1.6% while electronics and appliance stores were down 2% year-over-year.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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