Florida Retail Federation Expects Fourth Of July Sales To Slightly Sink This Year

With the Fourth of July holiday landing in the middle of the week, the Florida Retail Federation expects sales to sink a tad this year.

“Anytime the July Fourth 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,” explained R. Scott Shalley, the Florida Retail Federation president and CEO. 

Overall Fourth of July spending across the United States is expected to be down about $2 billion, from $6.9 billion in 2018 to $6.7 billion this year. The $73.33 per-person average spending is also about $2 less than what it was a year ago. 

However, even with overall and per-person spending expected to be down in 2019, both numbers would still rank as the third highest totals in history. 

The National Retail Federation conducted a survey to forecast Independence Day spending and learned the following:

  • 86 percent plan to have a BBQ, cookout or picnic 

  • 40 percent plan to shoot fireworks or participate in a community celebration

  • 26 percent plan to purchase patriotic items

  • 11 percent plan to attend a parade

  • 14 percent plan to travel or take a vacation

  • 14 percent will not celebrate 

The report also split sales expectations by gender, age and region. 

According to the survey, men are expected to spend nearly $79 while women were closer to $68. Men are also more likely to purchase patriotic merchandise, with an estimated 28 percent doing so. That said, women were not  far behind, with 24 percent of those surveyed saying they would buy patriotic items. 

In Florida, almost 61 percent of the consumers surveyed already owned an American flag, 52 percent already had patriotic apparel and 38 percent already owned decorations. Of those surveyed, close to 26 percent of celebrants said they plan to buy additional items. 

In terms of age, the expectation is that 18-24 year olds will spend $74.55, 25-34 years olds will spend $78.91, 35-44 year olds will spend $81.29, 45-54 year olds will spend $79.72, 55-64 year olds will spend $69.36 and celebrants 65-plus will spend $58.99.

Florida spending by age was nearly identical to the national averages, with the biggest group still being consumers age 35-44.

When comparing regions, the northeast and south tied, with 27 percent of consumers planning to buy additional patriotic gear. In the west, 26 percent of consumers plan to buy extra patriotic items while 24 percent of midwest buyers plan to shop for more patriotic merchandise. 

Even with the slight dip, the Florida Retail Federation believes merchants will adapt ahead of Independence Day to really drive sales. 

“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,” Shalley said.

The survey was conducted in coordination with Prosper Insights & Analytics between June 2-June 12, and has a margin of error of +/- 1.2 percent.