Record spending this St. Patrick’s Day should bring good luck to Florida retailers

Record per person spending of almost $40 on apparel, decorations and beverages, and total spending nationally of $5.9 billion is also a record; great signs for Florida’s retailers

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for more than 80 years, has announced that spending for St. Patrick’s Day is expected to set a record of $5.9 billion nationally, which is the highest level in the 14-year history of the survey and far surpasses last year’s record of $5.3 billion. The average person is expected to spend $39.65 up from last year’s previous record.

“This is continued great news for Florida retailers as the past few holidays and celebrations have all set spending records, and with St. Patrick’s Day falling on aSaturday this year, the luck of the Irish should be with those retailers selling themed merchandise,” said R. Scott Shalley, FRF President & CEO.

The survey, conducted by FRF’s national partners at the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, found over 149 million U.S. adults plan to celebrate theMarch 17 Irish holiday, up from last year’s approximate 139 million. Consumers are expected to spend an average of $39.65 per person, up from last year’s previous record of $37.92. The holiday is most popular among individuals 18-24 years old, with 77 percent celebrating, but those 35-44 will be the biggest spenders at an average of $45.76.

According to the survey, 83 percent of those celebrating will wear green, 31 percent plan to make a special dinner and 27 percent will head to a party at a bar or restaurant. Twenty-seven percent will also decorate their homes or offices in an Irish theme and 16 percent will attend a private party. In addition, 15 percent plan to attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade and 9 percent will host a party.

The survey found 50 percent will purchase food, 41 percent beverages, 31 percent apparel or accessories, 26 percent decorations and 16 percent candy. Of those making purchases, 38 percent will go to grocery stores, 31 percent to discount stores, 20 percent to department stores and 19 percent to bars or restaurants.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
Founded in 1937, the Florida Retail Federation is 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. For more information, visit the FRF website, and follow FRF on Facebook and Twitter.

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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