In two weeks, checkout lines will be packed. Retail experts say Black Friday in Florida is projected to see one of the largest increases in recent years for the holiday shopping season.
“While over the last five or six years we’ve averaged about a 3.3% increase over the previous year. I think we’re going to be over four,” said Rick McAllister.
Many shoppers have been shopping early and taking advantage of some early deals.
“I guess September. We watch for the sales that come up and everything,” said Florence McCutchen.
“Well, save my money because Black Friday comes up. I get all I can get, that’s about it,” said Ladarius Calhoun.
To prepare for the economic uptick, employers are hiring more people for the season.
“We as a company, we have hired more than 35,000 seasonal workers,” said Ray Gray with J.C. Penney.
Retail jobs provide one out of every five jobs in Florida bringing more than 49-billion dollars to the state in wages.
The season is make or break for many retailers. Some stores will make upwards of 25-percent of their annual profit in November and December.
“This is a critical time. It’s also important for the state. Sales tax is a big deal to our state,” said McAllister.
There are six fewer shopping days this year than last between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Tourism is also helping spur holiday shopping. People from out of state’s second highest expense while in Florida is shopping at retail stores.