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Florida retailers can expect ‘fireworks’ at cash registers on July 4 weekend, report says

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida merchants can expect fireworks for July 4 weekend, and not just the paper-and-gunpowder kind.

Just in time for Independence Day this Saturday, a new report from the Florida Retail Federation — the state’s leading consumer sales trade association — says Floridians will beending more this year on holiday-themed events, food and merchandise.

In the National Retail Federation’s 2015 Independence Day Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, nearly two-thirds of July 4 celebrants (64.4 percent) will hold a cookout, picnic or barbecue.

The group estimates that Americans nationwide will spend an average of $71.23 per household on the holiday, up from $68.16 last year. Spending on food items is projected to reach $6.6 billion.

“With Florida’s economy continuing to strengthen and more Floridians with extra money in their pockets, Sunshine State retailers are looking at a very productive and successful holiday shopping weekend,” said FRF CEO Rick McAllister. “Families are proud to celebrate the red, white and blue with patriotic supplies, gifts and plenty of food.”

Although many people already have Independence Day merchandise, the survey says more than 48 million consumers – 22.8 percent – will shop for new decorations, apparel and more.

The good news extends to more than food and decoration sales; 42.6 percent, or 103 million celebrants, will attend a community fireworks display or other event. Another 11.5 percent – 27 million people — will watch a parade.

Since July 4 falls on a Saturday this year, more than 33 million Americans say they will head out of town for the weekend. Nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) told researchers that higher gas prices will not have an effect on holiday plans, up from 70.1 percent who said the same last year.

The NRF Independence Day Spending Survey, which polled 6,431 consumers from June 2-9, is designed to examine consumer behavior and shopping trends.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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