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Holiday Shopping Forecast

November 8th, 2007 by flanews

Florida retailers are expecting a 3 percent increase in holiday sales this year.  But that number isn’t good news.  The forecast is down from the 6 percent increase last year.  As Chris Casquejo tells us, shoppers are seeing deals now that they wouldn’t normally see until after Thanksgiving.

Hear it here: Holiday Shopping Forecast

Florida shoppers will spend an average of 13-hundred dollars this holiday season.
But the state has seen a decrease in the amount of sales tax collected for 12 straight months.  So retailers are offering early deals to get shoppers in the door.  Cathy McCarty has almost completed her list.

“I just watch for sales, early sales and things that I like for people,” McCarty said.  “So if I see something I like, I’ll go ahead and buy it.”

Stores know that you’ll usually buy everything on your holiday shopping list and maybe pick up something for yourself.  But their real concern this year is that you’ll just stick to your list.

The Florida Retail Federation says a tough real estate market has consumers spending less on home furnishing and repairs.  The tough times are making shoppers like Brittany Morhne more cautious this year.

“Have a budget. Stick to it.  That’s it,” Mohrne said.

Clothing store manager Bill Abeln is urging shoppers to buy early.   One reason, more choices.

“Whether it’s a size, whether it’s a color, whether it’s just something very specific,” Abeln said.  “Closer to the holiday, each and every person’s, I guess, pickiness goes down because we’re usually running out of a few things.”

Retailers won’t be the only ones watching the bottom line.  State lawmakers have already cut the budget once.  A slow holiday shopping season could have them sharpening the budget ax again.

The Florida Retail Federation says the number one item to give and receive is a gift card.

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