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Florida retailers hope for a Merry Christmas


By Lynn Hatter


Tallahassee, FL – Florida retailers are expecting happy holidays this year. Tom Flanigan reports the state's retail federation has released a positive forecast for the season.

You can always tell in advance when the outlook is going to be upbeat. Florida Retail Federation head Rick McAllister will call the media to Tallahassee's Governors Square Mall and dons a Santa cap. Then he stands before the cameras and microphones to make his forecast.

"The Retail Federation is predicting this year between a three and a three-point-five percent increase in holiday shopping sales over last year."

That's better than the overall national forecast of a two-point-eight percent boost over last year. And it's not just about moving merchandise. McAllister says more sales means more people to do the selling.

"And I'm very pleased to tell you that we're estimating that for the holiday season, retailers are adding 35,000 seasonal jobs for Floridians this year."

McAllister admits most of those jobs will go away after New Year's Day, but he says some won't and, in today's employment market, every Florida job is a positive thing.