Posts Tagged ‘Mary lau’

Halloween Spending Expected To Total $118 Million In Nevada, Up 10.4 Percent Over 2011

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 11:03 am October 11th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Goblins and ghosts are expected to be good for business in Nevada this Halloween.

The Retail Association of Nevada (RAN) reported today that Silver State residents will spend $118 million on Halloween-related merchandise this month if national trends hold true locally.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), approximately 71.5 percent of U.S. consumers will celebrate Halloween this year, up from 68.6 percent last year and a record number for the holiday. Spending is also expected to increase, with consumers reporting they will spend an average of $79.82 on decorations, costumes and candy, up from $72.31 reported last year.

Assuming national trends hold true in Nevada, an estimated 1.5 million residents ages 18 and over will be shopping to help their families celebrate Halloween this year. If Nevada consumers’ spending on the holiday keeps pace with national averages, celebrants will generate $118 million in Halloween-related revenue at retailers statewide.

Compared to last season, when total spending was estimated at $107 million, revenue collected by Nevada retailers will increase by 10.4 percent.

RAN President Mary Lau said: “Retail spending is rising in Nevada, and Halloween is always a great excuse to make a few fun purchases. With Halloween spending in the state expected to reach its highest level yet, there is reason to remain optimistic about sales trends throughout the rest of the year, especially during the approaching winter holiday season.”

Of those celebrating Halloween this year, it is estimated 51.4 percent will decorate their home or yard, up 1.9 percentage points from the 49.5 percent reported last year. Approximately 45 percent will dress in a costume, up from 43.9 percent last year.

Notably, 35.7 percent of those surveyed said they would look for inspiration for Halloween costumes within a retail store or costume shop; others will consult such sources as print media, friends and family, television, and Facebook, to name a few.

Additionally, 15.1 percent say they plan to dress their pets in a costume as well. Also notable, 25.9 percent of consumers say the state of the economy will impact their Halloween plans, causing them to spend less; of these consumers, 18 percent will make a costume instead of purchasing one from a store.


Nevada Retailers Expect $245 Million In Back-To-School Spending, Up 15 Percent Over 2011

By Sean Whaley | 8:45 am August 15th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada retailers and their online counterparts expect to see $245 million in spending on back-to-school merchandise for public school children this year, a 15.4 percent increase over spending levels in 2011, the Retail Association of Nevada (RAN) reported today.

College spending in Nevada is expected to generate another $134 million in what is as the second biggest consumer event for retailers behind the winter holidays, according to the National Retail Federation. The NRF reports that combined K-12 and college spending will reach $83.8 billion this year.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

“Parents want to make sure their kids have everything they need to start the new school year and are willing to spend more than ever on school-related necessities,” said Mary Lau, president of RAN. “However, the economy remains a concern in most households, which will have an impact on the way families shop. Bargain-hunting will remain important to budget-conscious consumers.”

According to the latest survey results from the NRF, families nationwide with children in grades K-12 are expected to spend an average of $689 on clothing, backpacks and other supplies. The latest estimate is a 14.1-percent increase from the estimated $604 spent last year.

According to demographics released by Nielsen Marketplace, there are approximately 1 million households in Nevada, and 34 percent (or 355,000 households) have one or more children in grades K-12. Assuming national trends as reported by the NRF generally hold true for Nevada families, total spending in the state will reach approximately $245 million. Due to an increase in both the count of families with children entering elementary or middle school, and an increase in spending per family, back-to-school spending in the state is expected to increase 15.4 percent compared to last year when total spending was an estimated $212 million.

As for college-bound students, the NRF estimates families will spend an average of $907 on new clothes, dormitory or apartment furniture and other college supplies. Compared to last year’s estimate of $809, college spending is expected to increase 12.2 percent.

Utilizing the latest estimate of Nevada residents who will be enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs within and outside of Nevada in the coming school year released by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, aggregate back-to-school spending on college supplies is expected to increase this year as well. Again, assuming Nevada residents follow national trends, college spending is estimated to reach $134 million, compared to $120 million in 2011.

Bryan Wachter, director of government affairs for RAN, said back-to-school spending is exceeded only by the Christmas holiday season.

“Back-to-school is for a specific purpose, and we feel we can measure it pretty accurately,” he said.

Wachter said clothing and electronics, from calculators to laptops to phones, are the big spending categories.

“Electronics, not quite but almost, total clothing,” he said. “The average person is going to spend about $250 per student on clothing and we’re going to spend about $225 on electronics.”

The spending increase is due in part to some increased confidence among Nevadans that their jobs are more secure, Wachter said.

The Internet is continuing to grow as a preferred shopping “destination” for back-to-school items. Approximately 39.6 percent of consumers will be using the Internet to shop for needed supplies, nearly double the 2007 estimate. That said, discount stores are expected to be the most popular shopping destination, with 67.1 percent of consumers planning to shop there. Department stores followed with 59.9 percent.


Audio clips:

Bryan Wachter of RAN says back-to-school shopping is a huge event for retailers:

081512Wachter1 :15 on back-to-school items.”

Wachter says spending on electronics now nearly equals spending on clothes:

081512Wachter2 :12 $225 on electronics.”

Retail Association Survey Shows Nevadans More Optimistic About Economy But Jobs Remain A Concern

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 2:00 pm February 28th, 2012

CARSON CITY – The Retail Association of Nevada’s (RAN) latest survey, conducted on its behalf by Public Opinion Strategies, shows the number of Nevadans agreeing that the state is going in the right direction tripled from 11 percent in 2010 to 33 percent last week.

For the first time in the two-year history of the survey, more than fifty-percent of respondents feel that the worst of Nevada’s difficult times are over.

RAN President Mary Lau said: “Nevadans are feeling more optimistic with fewer bracing for worse economic news. While jobs and the economy remain primary concerns, most (73%) of Nevadans reported that their own economic situation had either improved or stayed the same in the past six months. While people are not feeling totally optimistic, the overwhelming pessimism shown in earlier polls is certainly receding.”

The survey also found that 63 percent of Nevadans approve of Gov. Sandoval’s job performance, a 16 percent increase since February 2011, and most believe that the governor understands the problems they face. Members of the state legislature did not fare as well, with only 38 percent believing that members of the state legislature understand their problems and a majority favor a new person (52%) over the current legislator (32%).

The poll, conducted from February 21-23, used a sample size of 500 likely voters, and has a margin of error of 4.38 percentage points.

The full results of the RAN survey can be accessed here.

Online Sales Increasingly Cutting Into Tax Dollars, Says Retailers’ Group

By Anne Knowles | 2:00 pm September 1st, 2011

Nevada could take in $16 million less in tax dollars this year due to online sales, according to a new report by the Retail Association of Nevada (RAN).

Sales tax currently accounts for 28.3 percent of the state’s general fund revenue while gaming taxes bring in 23.6 percent. Nevada ranks 11th in the nation in terms of sales tax reliance, according to a Congressional Research Service report, while the state’s maximum sales tax rate, 8.1 percent in Clark County, ranks 20th.

According to RAN, internet sales means Nevada will lose upwards of $16 million in 2011, with other reports estimating as much $100 million lost annually. The Economic Forum forecasts the state will collect about $815.3 million in sales and use tax in 2011.

“As e-commerce becomes increasingly popular, Nevada faces ever greater sales and use tax revenue losses,” said Mary Lau, RAN president, in a statement on the findings. “Current estimates may only predict losses equivalent to 0.5 percent of total sales and use tax collections, but the impacts are certain to grow larger with time.”

Technically, buyers are supposed to pay a use tax with the state for purchases made online, but many consumers are either not aware of the tax or rarely pay it and is almost impossible for the tax department to monitor.

“It’s an odd tax, because the costs of compliance are actually higher than the costs of evasion,” said Geoff Lawrence, deputy director of policy at Nevada Policy Research Institute in Las Vegas.  “One alternative could be to require online retailers to email shoppers at the end of each year with their total purchase amount throughout the year and informing them of their total use tax liability, directing them to remit the use tax directly to the Nevada Department of Taxation.  An alternative like this would get around many problems while still protecting the privacy of individuals.”

Lawrence said states have no authority to collect sales tax from entities that have no physical presence in the state.

A bill amendment to tax online retailers failed during the 2011 Nevada legislative session.

Nevada is a member of the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board, a national effort to reduce the complexity of sales tax compliance so online retailers could be required to charge state sales on their goods sold.


Assemblyman Asks Lawmakers To Put “Cards On The Table” In Forum Today

By Andrew Doughman | 12:47 pm April 18th, 2011

CARSON CITY — Assemblyman Pat Hickey, R-Sparks, is asking other legislators to “lay your cards on the table.”

As the budget debate in Carson City roils to no discernible conclusion, Hickey is bringing 21 lawmakers, business leadersa and academics to the Legislature to talk taxes and government reform.

“This forum will help get out into the open things that have only been talked about behind closed doors,” Hickey said. “As moderator, I plan to press participants to speak openly about the ‘end game’ here this session.”

That end game has traditionally involved closed door meetings between legislative leadership.

Hickey will moderate the “Recession, Revenues and Nevada’s Recovery” panel today between 3 – 5 p.m. at the Legislature. Viewers online can watch here.

Hickey said he would like to have a serious discussion in public that could evolve into legislative negotiations about the budget.

At the very least, the diversity of voices at the forum should provide an interesting sideshow to the day-in, day-out legislative hearings and committees.

Speaking at the forum span nearly every position on the tax debate. Politically, Hickey’s guests span the spectrum from left to right and include representatives from unions and contractors, free-market libertarians and progressive groups, chambers of commerce and school districts.

Hickey’s forum is not the only change in the legislative end game.

This year, Democratic leaders in the Assembly and Senate have said they will conduct budget hearings in the Assembly and Senate chambers. They say the move will lead to more transparency and include more legislators in budget discussions.

As first reported in the Las Vegas Sun, the change could prompt legislators toward a budget battle over education.

The Legislature has 49 days remaining to conclude its session, pass a budget and finish the drawing of political districts as required every 10 years by the U.S. Census.


Panelists for the “Recession, Revenues and Nevada’s Recovery” include:

Heidi Gansert, the governor’s chief of staff

Speaker Pro Tempore Debbie Smith, D-Sparks

Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas

Tray Abney, Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce

Carole Vilardo – Nevada Taxpayers Association

Dr. Elliott Parker – UNR economist

Clara Andriola – Associated Builders and Contractors

Geoffrey Lawrence – Nevada Policy Research Institute economist

Dr. Heath Morrison – Washoe County School District superintendent

Mary Lau – Retail Association of Nevada

Dr. Tyrus Cobb – former assistant to President Ronald Reagan

Neil Medina – Northern Nevada Contractor

Jim Pfrommer – Education Alliance of Washoe County

Former Sen. Randolph Townsend

Assemblyman Crescent Hardy, R-Mesquite

Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks

Bob Fulkerson, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada

Chuck Muth – Citizen Outreach

Dave Humke – Washoe County Commissioner

Danny Thompson – AFL-CIO union representative

Norm Dianda – Q&D Construction