The holidays will look a little different this year. We’ll probably have to tweak a few family traditions, tighten the guest list for holiday gatherings and wear protective gear while we shop for loved ones due to COVID-19.
But no matter what challenges we face, Floridians are known to be generous, especially this time of year. Hundreds of retailers across the state of Florida are counting on your generosity and support this season to keep them afloat. So when you begin to check off your holiday gift list, be sure to “Find It In Florida.”
“Find It In Florida?” Yes! You can find everything on your shopping list this season right here in the Sunshine State. And that’s what I’m asking you to do. Whether you’re shopping for toys, looking for the perfect surprise for your loved one or sending colleagues some holiday cheer, there are so many choices at retail stores across Florida.
At the Florida Retail Federation, we launched a new public awareness campaign this season urging consumers to “Find It In Florida.” The symbol is like a map, representative of our state’s history and the early explorers who discovered the beauty, bounty and treasures our state has to offer. The words are like a call to action, encouraging consumers to shop at Florida retail stores before considering anywhere else.
Your support for Florida’s retail stores – from big-box stores to small corner stores – is important now more than ever. Many Floridians have suffered this year because of COVID-19. Many businesses, especially retail stores, were forced to close for periods of time and lost significant revenues due to restrictions and fear.
Florida’s retail industry is resilient. Stores were quick to pivot to offer delivery and curbside options so that customers can shop safely and help prevent the spread of illness. Many stores invested in new technologies, like contactless payment systems, dividers and signage to keep their teams and customers safe while in store.
Now, the most important season in the retail calendar is upon us. The final two months of the year are often considered the make-or-break for the retail industry. Traditionally, purchases made at retail stores during the holiday season account for nearly one-fifth, or 19 percent, of a store’s annual sales. For many retailers, it’s even higher than that. This season is critical to their bottom line.
And retail stores provide jobs for Florida families. Millions of Floridians have lost their jobs or lost wages in this economic downturn. We must save every job that remains. Florida retail stores support 2.7 million jobs for Florida families. That’s one in five jobs across the state.
So when you choose to “Find It In Florida,” you’re supporting Florida businesses and Florida jobs.
You can have confidence in the measures adopted by Florida retail stores to keep you safe and healthy while shopping. If you choose to shop in store, you’ll see team members and customers alike wearing masks to prevent the spread of illness. Stores have also installed partitions at checkout lines and are practicing social distancing, according to the CDC guidelines.
Many stores also offer alternatives to shopping in store. Take advantage of curbside or delivery services where available. If you’re shopping online, make sure to purchase from stores that have a physical presence in Florida.
We are immensely grateful for the support from Floridians this year and the patience you all have practiced as we navigated changes in guidelines and restrictions throughout the pandemic.
If we can tap your generosity once more during this season of giving, we ask you to support Florida retail stores to fulfill your holiday gift lists. From food to electronics to toys and gift cards, be sure to “Find It In Florida!”
SCOTT SHALLEY, TALLAHASSEE
Editor’s note: Shalley is president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation, which advocates for 274,000 retail businesses across Florida, supports 2.7 million jobs for Florida families and generates $155 billion in annual economic impact.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Point of View: Statewide marketing campaign supports COVID-wracked Florida retailers during holiday shopping season