This afternoon, as Georgia begins to recover from the effects of Hurricane Irma, Governor Nathan Deal has issued an executive order lifting the mandatory evacuation order for coastal Georgia issued on 7 SEPT 2017. While this removes the mandatory evacuation order, it will now be up to local political subdivision emergency officials to determine when best to allow re-entry of their general populations.

A copy of the executive order can be found here: https://gov.georgia.gov/sites/gov.georgia.gov/files/related_files/document/0 9.12.17.01.pdf

In anticipation of the effects of Hurricane Irma being felt throughout the state, early this afternoon Governor Deal issued a new executive order declaring a further State of Emergency that includes all Georgia counties.

The State of Emergency will remain in effect for seven days at expire at 11:59 pm on 17 SEP 2017.

A copy of the executive order can be found here: https://gov.georgia.gov/sites/gov.georgia.gov/files/related_files/document/09.10.17.01.pdf

Acting on a recommendation from the state's Emergency Operations Command and in agreement with the Chatham County Emergency Management Agency and following Hurricane Irma’s further shift westward, Gov. Nathan Deal today issued an executive order altering the emergency declaration for Chatham County. As indicated in the attached maps, Zone B and C in Chatham County will be moving to a voluntary evacuation order. The mandatory evacuation order issued by Gov. Deal remains in effect for all of Zone A throughout the coastal region. Due to the lack of traffic using contraflow, the Georgia Department of Transportation is removing contraflow operations on Interstate 16 by 4 p.m. today, returning normal traffic configurations for both east and westbound travel lanes. This allows the state to relocate our resources being used for contraflow and transition them westward. To read the executive order, see attached or click here.

For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency website here.

Attached files:

 

Following a recommendation from Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) officials ahead of Hurricane Irma’s imminent landfall, Gov. Nathan Deal today expanded the state of emergency to include a total of 94 counties. In light of the storm’s forecasted track shifting west, which will bring hurricane force winds, rain and potential flooding, 64 additional counties are now under the emergency declaration. Mandatory evacuations for coastal areas east of I-95 and all of Chatham County remain in place and contraflow on I-16 will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday.

The additional counties include: Baker, Baldwin, Ben Hill, Berrien, Bibb, Bleckley, Brooks, Calhoun, Chattahoochee, Clay, Colquitt, Cook, Crawford, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Harris, Houston, Irwin, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Lamar, Lanier, Laurens, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marion, Meriwether, Miller, Mitchell, Monroe, Montgomery, Muscogee, Peach, Pike, Pulaski, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Seminole, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Taylor, Telfair, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Troup, Turner, Twiggs, Upson, Washington, Webster, Wheeler, Wilcox, Wilkinson and Worth Counties.

A state of emergency now exists in the following 94 counties: Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Baker, Baldwin, Ben Hill, Berrien, Bibb, Bleckley, Brantley, Brooks, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Calhoun, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Chattahoochee, Clay, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crawford, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Echols, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glynn, Grady, Harris, Houston, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Jones, Lamar, Lanier, Laurens, Lee, Liberty, Long, Lowndes, Macon, Marion, McIntosh, Meriwether, Miller, Mitchell, Monroe, Montgomery, Muscogee, Peach, Pierce, Pike, Pulaski, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Screven, Seminole, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Tattnall, Taylor, Telfair, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Toombs, Treutlen, Troup, Turner, Twiggs, Upson, Ware, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wheeler, Wilcox, Wilkinson and Worth Counties.

Read the executive order here. For more
information and resources on evacuation routes, shelters and hurricane
preparedness, visit www.gema.ga.gov or 1-800-TRY-GEMA.

Wednesday, 06 September 2017 00:26

Hurricane Irma - Motor Carrier Information

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the Federal Government and the State of Georgia waived certain motor carrier regulations to facilitate essential goods, services and relief into and from the disaster areas within Texas and Louisiana.

However this afternoon in preparation for Hurricane Irma's potential impact on the coastal and southern Georgia, Governor Deal has issued an updated executive order and declared a state of emergency in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty, and McIntosh Counties. Georgia Executive Order

In an effort to avoid fuel shortages as a result of pipeline disruptions, as well as to avoid shortages in emergency or disaster related materials, supplies, goods and services (to include agricultural and food products) due to Hurricane Irma, Governor Deal suspended the federal rules and regulations limiting hours operators of commercial fuel vehicles may drive within Georgia. This waiver also expires on September 20, 2017.

Please note that no fuel carrier operating under the terms of Georgia's executive order suspending hourly limits will require or allow an ill or fatigued driver to operate a motor vehicle. A driver who notifies a motor vehicle carrier that he or she needs immediate rest will be given at least ten (10) consecutive hours off-duty before being required to return to service.

Further, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration declared a regional emergency related to fuel transportation for Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia, which suspends regulations found within Parts 390 through 399 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Limitations of hours operators of commercial fuel vehicles may drive within the above mentioned states are among the regulations suspended. This federal declaration expires on September 30, 2017.

We encourage our members to apply for re-entry permits through their local emergency management agency. This should be done prior to any potential impacts to Georgia. Those contacts can be found at the bottom of Georgia Emergency Management home page - www.gema.ga.gov.

Following a recommendation from Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) officials and local Emergency Management Agencies, Gov. Nathan Deal is expanding his emergency declaration to include 24 additional counties, with a total of 30 counties now included in a state of emergency. Deal also issued a mandatory evacuation order for all areas east of I-95, all of Chatham County and some areas west of I-95 that could be impacted by potential storm surge from Hurricane Irma. The executive order also authorized up to 5,000 Georgia National Guard members to be on state active duty to support Hurricane Irma response and recovery. The state of emergency prohibits price gouging for all goods and services related to the storm. Read the executive order here.

“The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Irma,” said Deal. “I encourage all Georgians in our coastal areas that could be impacted by this storm to evacuate the area as soon as possible. Beginning Saturday, a mandatory evacuation order will take effect for Chatham County, all areas east of I-95 and some areas west of I-95 that could be impacted by this catastrophic hurricane and storm surge. GEMA/HS continues leading our preparedness efforts as we coordinate with federal, state and local officials to safely evacuate the coastal areas, provide public shelter and minimize the disruption of traffic. Finally, I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in Hurricane Irma’s path.”

The 30 counties under a state of emergency are: Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Clinch, Coffee, Echols, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glynn, Jenkins, Jeff Davis, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Pierce, Screven, Tattnall, Toombs, Treutlen, Wayne and Ware Counties. Click here for a map of mandatory evacuation zones. Click here for emergency county contact list.

Gov. Deal and the State Operation Command Team will hold a news conference Friday morning at 10 a.m. to provide updates on storm preparations. A livestream of the conference will be available here.

GEMA/HS is coordinating disaster preparedness efforts along with the Georgia Department of Defense (GA DoD), the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Georgia Department of Public Safety. Please see below for resources and updates from each of the agencies.

State Agency Information
GEMA/HS
Sheltering and state park information are available on the GEMA/HS website or by calling 1-800-TRY-GEMA.

GDOT
Contraflow on I-16 will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9. See the attached graphic for more information. For more information on GDOT preparations, see the graphic or contact Natalie Dale, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Are sales slowing down? Have you had a rough month, quarter or year? While a lot of people are claiming that brick and mortar is a dying business model that's quickly being replaced by e-commerce, this simply isn't true. Your lack of sales has less to do with larger industry trends than it has to do with store-specific issues. Correct these issues and you should be just fine.

5 cost-effective techniques


Thankfully, boosting retail sales doesn't have to involve steep discounts or costly marketing campaigns. With just a few inexpensive techniques, you can give your retail business the jolt it needs to meet sales goals and bolster your bottom line.

1. Encourage impulse buys
We've all walked into a store looking for one specific item only to leave with three or four things that we didn't really need. In most cases, this behavior is rooted in impulse shopping.

"The simplest explanation is that some people just derive an enormous amount of pleasure from acquiring something new," consumer behavior psychologist Philip Graves says. "The act of buying is an act of empowerment that may be felt all too rarely in other aspects of life."

As a retailer, you can significantly increase your sales by encouraging impulse buys. The easiest way to do this is by lining up cheap, sensory items in the checkout queue. While customers are waiting, they'll naturally toss things in their shopping carts.

2. Push add-ons
Once you have a customer in the ready state of mind to purchase one product, it's much easier to encourage them to purchase more. One strategy is to have your salespeople push add-ons. These add-ons can come in the form of a discount or special sale, or they can be full-price add-ons if your salespeople are really persuasive.

For example, let's say you're selling a customer a digital camera. In addition to the camera, you could push things like camera cases, memory cards, batteries and extra lenses. Suddenly, instead of just selling a camera for $199, you're selling three or four items for $300.

3. Get people in the door
Your sales numbers are directly correlated to the level of foot traffic inside your store. It's an elementary concept, but sometimes basic logic goes out the door when you're struggling to meet sales goals. If you want to increase sales, get more people in the door.

You can use any number of strategies to get people inside, but it all goes back to grabbing your customers' attention. Try designing clever window displays, placing inventory outside, or having a personable salesperson stand outside and welcome people in. Whatever you can do to get people inside will increase your chances of driving up sales.

4. Offer future-use coupons
If you're looking for cheap ways to drive sales, you probably aren't keen on the idea of using a lot of coupons. However, there is one type of coupon – known as a future-use coupon – that has a low cost and a high return.

As the name suggests, future-use coupons are coupons you give to customers at the time of purchase that are valid for future purchases. The great thing about these coupons is that only a small percentage of people will ever redeem them. So while you may get 15 people to make a purchase because of the coupon offer, only four or five will ever take advantage of the offer at a later date. This allows you to maximize their value.

5. Let customers try
The final tip is to let customers try products. In-store demonstrations, trials and tastings are highly effective methods for driving impulse buys. Sensory exposure goes a long way toward moving customers to action. People see, hear, touch, taste or smell something that they otherwise never would have and feel like they have to purchase the item. READ MORE

BY LARRY ALTON
https://www.business.com/articles/5-ways-to-boost-retail-sales/

For Immediate Release: June 13, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Dads to get showered with gifts in record-setting fashion this year; Meals, clothing, gift cards, electronics and personal care items top the list of popular options

ATLANTA, GA – The Georgia Retail Association (GRA), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 50 years, says Georgia families will spend more than ever on Father’s Day this year. Consumers are expected to spend an average $134.75 for the holiday, up almost $10 from last year’s $125.92. Total spending nationwide is expected to reach $15.5 billion, the highest in the survey’s 15-year history and almost a billion more than last year.

“I am very encouraged to see that Georgians and families across the country are planning to spend more than ever before to celebrate the special dads in their lives,” said GRA President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “These results show that Americans are feeling more and more confident and optimistic in this improving economy and dads and retailers can expect to benefit this Father’s Day.”

According to GRA’s partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insight and Analytics, consumers plan to spend $3.3 billion on special outings such as dinner, brunch or other types of a “fun activity/experience” (given by 48 percent). Clothing (given by 46 percent) and gift cards (given by 43 percent) are tied at $2.2 billion each while consumer electronics (given by 21 percent) follow at $1.8 billion.

As with Mother’s Day, greeting cards are the most commonly purchased gift at 64 percent but account for only $861 million of projected spending. Other popular gifts include personal care, automotive accessories, books, music, home improvement/gardening supplies and sporting goods.

The survey found 27 percent of shoppers will opt for a “gift of experience” such as tickets to a concert or a sporting event. The largest projected growth category was for “personal care” items such as cologne, razors, aftershave, etc. where spending is expected to be 20% higher over last year.

When searching for the perfect gift, 40 percent of consumers will head to department stores and 34 percent will shop online while 26 percent will shop at a discount store, 24 percent at a specialty store and 19 percent at a local small business. Among smartphone owners, 33 percent will use them to research gift ideas but only 18 percent will use them to make a purchase. Tablets are used more frequently both to research (32 percent) and buy (19 percent).

More than half of those surveyed plan to buy for their father or stepfather (54 percent), while others will shop for their husband (29 percent) or son (10 percent).

ABOUT THE GEORGIA RETAIL ASSOCATION
Since 1961, the Georgia Retail Association has been working on behalf of the retail community to unite and pursue the common goal of creating the best environment for retailing in Georgia. Retail supports 1 out of 4 jobs in the state and is directly and indirectly responsible for 78% of Georgia's gross domestic product. The Georgia Retail Association is a division of the Florida Retail Federation.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION
As the world's largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, the National Retail Federation's global membership includes retailers of all sizes, formats and channels of distribution as well as chain restaurants and industry partners from the U.S. and more than 45 countries abroad. In the U.S., NRF represents the breadth and diversity of an industry with more than 1.6 million American companies that employ nearly 25 million workers and generated 2010 sales of $2.4 trillion. www.nrf.com.

For Immediate Release: May 24, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Record amount expected to be spent on gift cards, greeting cards, apparel and electronics for Peach State graduates

ATLANTA, GA – The Georgia Retail Association (GRA), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 50 years, says Georgia families will spend more than ever on graduation gifts this year. With more consumers buying for graduates this year – 36 percent compared with 34 percent in 2016 – total spending nationally is expected to reach $5.6 billion, topping last year’s record of $5.4 billion.

“Graduation is a significant achievement in someone’s life as they end one chapter and begin a new one, and recognizing this is important for graduates,” said R. Scott Shalley, GRA President & CEO. “Family and friends are eager to celebrate this important milestone, and we expect the gifts to Peach State graduates to reach record numbers this year, which is great news for Georgia retailers.”

According GRA’s national partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the $5.6 billion total is the highest in the survey’s 11-year history. Cash will once again be the most popular gift, given by 53 percent of those surveyed as they seek to help students with the costly transition from high school to college or college to the “real world.” However, cash gifting is at a survey low in 2017, dropping about 10 percent from highs recorded in 2007 and 2009. Greeting cards follow at 41 percent, gift cards at 33 percent, apparel at 16 percent and electronics at 11 percent.

While ages 18-24 are the most likely to give a gift to graduates (at 48 percent), they maintain the smallest budgets at $78.42. The biggest spending is likely to come among parent-age 45-54-year-olds at $119.84 as well as those in the grandparent bracket of 65+, who plan to spend an average $112.34.

ABOUT THE GEORGIA RETAIL ASSOCATION
Since 1961, the Georgia Retail Association has been working on behalf of the retail community to unite and pursue the common goal of creating the best environment for retailing in Georgia. Retail supports 1 out of 4 jobs in the state and is directly and indirectly responsible for 78% of Georgia's gross domestic product. The Georgia Retail Association is a division of the Florida Retail Federation.

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For Immediate Release: May 10, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

ATLANTA, GA – The Georgia Retail Association (GRA), the voice of Georgia retailing for more than 50 years, is expecting record breaking spending for moms in 2017. Mother’s Day shoppers will shower their mothers by spending an average of $186.39—up significantly from last year’s $172.22 average. Total spending on this year’s holiday is expected to reach $23.6 billion.

“We are extremely encouraged by the record high projections for Mother’s Day shopping this year. The retail industry continues to be reassured by a strengthening economy and, as this survey shows, increasing consumer confidence,” stated R. Scott Shalley, CEO and President of the Georgia Retail Association. “Our retailers continue to rise to meet the demands of their consumers and that will be no different this year as they prepare for this exciting and busy shopping holiday.”

According to GRA's partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual survey, conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, this year's per person spending is the highest in the survey’s 14-year history. Consumers plan on spending $5 billion on jewelry, $4.2 billion on special outings such as dinner or brunch, $2.6 billion on flowers, $2.5 billion on gift cards, $2.1 billion on clothing, $2 billion on consumer electronics, and $1.9 billion on personal services. The most significant increases from last year are in jewelry spending, which is up 19%, and personal services which are up 15%.

The survey also found a difference in shopping habits based on the age of both the consumer as well as the recipient. For example, “gifts of experience,” such as tickets to a concert continue to be on the rise with 28% desiring such gifts and nearly half of the consumers surveyed under age 35 plan on giving such a gift. According to the survey, 35% of consumers will head to department stores, and 31% will shop at specialty stores such as florists, jewelers, or electronic stores, while 24% will shop at a small local business. As for online shopping, the survey found that 30% of consumers are expected to shop online, which is up from 27% last year.

The survey asked 7,406 consumers about their Mother’s Day plans and was conducted April 4-11. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

ABOUT THE GEORGIA RETAIL ASSOCIATION
Since 1961, the Georgia Retail Association has been working on behalf of the retail community to unite and pursue the common goal of creating the best environment for retailing in Georgia. Retail supports 1 out of 4 jobs in the state and is directly and indirectly responsible for 78% of Georgia's gross domestic product. The Georgia Retail Association is a division of the Florida Retail Federation.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants, and Internet retailers from the United Sates and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs—42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retails is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

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Contact Us

+1(850)222-4082
Jon Stolp
Georgia Retail Association
227 S. Adams St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301
jons@frf.org