Petrogram - Summer 2017 - 17
By James Miller, FPMA Communications Director
he Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the
"Florida State Retailers Association," associate memberstate's premier retail trade organization,
ship was extended to independently owned stores. In
1957, the Florida Chain Store Council reorganized as a
announces a yearlong celebration of its
80th anniversary as the most impactful
division of the Florida State Chamber of Commerce,
and influential retail advocacy group
and by the end of the year its board approved a new
in Florida. FRF was founded in 1937 as
name-Florida Retail Federation. On October 13, 1959,
the Florida Chain Store Association and 20 years later
FRF was re-chartered as an independent non-profit
was renamed the Florida Retail Federation, where it's
organization. E. Colin Lindsey of Belk-Lindsey Stores,
remained as The Voice of Florida Retailing. In honor
Inc., in Tampa, was elected the first president of the indeof the anniversary, FRF will feature key moments from
pendent Florida Retail Federation on January 8, 1960.
the organization's history on its website throughout
The group's purpose, according to its charter, was to
the year, as well as incorporate an
foster a closer relationship between
FLORIDA'S LEADING the public and Florida's retail mer80th anniversary logo in all of its hard
copy collateral and online presence
ADVOCATE FOR THE chants by conducting service and
and celebrate the milestone during
public relations programs, to provide
STATE'S 270,000 RETAIL non-partisan representation to all
its many events in 2017.
BUSINESSES HEADS retailers-independent, chain, small
"To see the growth and progress
of FRF, from its humble beginnings in
and large-and to cooperate with
INTO ITS EIGHTH
1937 to the influential advocacy and
all branches of the state and federal
DECADE AS STRONG, governments so that retailers could
support organization it's become
AS DIVERSE AND AS better serve the public.
today, is a testament to the pasThe Florida Retail Federation Self
sion and determination of all of the
INFLUENTIAL AS IT'S
employees and board members who
Insurers Workers' Compensation Fund
EVER BEEN; YEARLONG was established on January 1, 1979.
played a part during the past 80 years,"
said FRF President & CEO Randy Miller.
Administered by Summit in Lakeland,
"As we enter our eighth decade of sucthe fund sparked a relationship that
cessfully promoting and growing our
proved significant in FRF's history and
industry and our members' businesses, it's important
grew into one of the foremost services to Florida retailers.
we reflect back and appreciate not only where the FRF
In 1980, the decision was made to move the association
started from, but to stay true to those same goals and
headquarters to Tallahassee which office space secured
ideals which laid the foundation for the organization."
at historic Gallie's Hall, which was renovated and ready
for occupancy in February 1982.
FRF initially started out as the Florida Chain Store
Association, Inc., which was founded in 1937 as a counIn 1996, a new CEO helped position FRF as a more
ter to the wave of anti-business legislation that swept
proactive organization in legislative advocacy, a phithrough Florida, culminating in a 1935 law that created
losophy maintained today. FRF has continued to expand
one of the most discriminatory business taxes in the
its member services, increasing revenue and further
nation. Initially, the organization included just the largstrengthening the position of FRF as a top-tier business
est chain store businesses in the state, but in 1941, the
advocacy organization. It's also since launched a number
association expanded to include smaller chain stores.
of benefits and services programs that help retailers
In 1947, the headquarters moved to Jacksonville, where
and businesses including OrdinanceWatch™, Florida
most members were located.
BankCard Solutions, MEMBERS Comp Dividend Program,
By 1956, recognizing that all retailers shared common
FRF Health Insurance Exchange and the Employers
goals and facing competition from the similarly named
Health Network. ●