State officials: Florida holiday sales good, not great - FOX 13 News

State officials: Florida holiday sales good, not great

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TALLAHASSEE (FOX 13) -

Let the after-Christmas sales begin.

Shoppers are heading to stores hunting for irresistible deals and they will find some, according to the Florida Retail Federation.

Spokesman John Fleming said you can expect retailers to continue their discounts this week as shoppers head to stores to redeem gift cards.

Fleming says it looks as though stores are having a good holiday season, but not a great one. A national report indicates holiday shopping ticked up slightly but fell short of expectations.

Last month, the Florida Retail Federation predicted a five percent increase in holiday sales. That would have translated into $58 billion of spending by Floridians.

"We're going to be very close to that," said John Fleming of the Florida Retail Federation. "There are some national numbers coming out now just really early that shows sales for some retailers nationally were not as good as expected. I think we're going to be bucking that trend a little bit here in Florida because we've traditionally done a little bit better than the rest of the nation as far as retail goes."

Fleming says gift cards have dramatically changed holiday shopping over the past decade.

"There's going to be a lot of great sales going on this week and next week through New Year's Day, really for you to redeem those gift cards and get some great prices, so holiday shopping has really gone into January now."

"Retailers will book those sales when the gift cards are redeemed, not when the gift cards are actually sold. So we're really going to look at holiday shopping through January to see how we did overall," he said.

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