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Mother's Day Shopping Reveals 'Tradition' Over 'Tech'


With Mother's Day around the corner, consumers this year plan to spare no expense while celebrating the women in their life, with total spending likely to hit $19 billion, according to the 22nd annual Brand Keys Mother's Day survey.

With average spending estimated at $184 per person – up 7.5 percent from 2013 – this year's purchase trend skews toward "tradition" over "tech," with many consumers opting for cards (97 percent), meals out (80 percent, up 10 percent), flowers (86 percent, up 10 percent), spa services (46 percent, up 16 percent), jewelry (45 percent, up 7 percent) and clothing (64 percent, up 14 percent).

Robert Passikoff, founder and president of New York City-based Brand Keys, noted that high-tech gifts like electronics, e-readers, tablets, computers and smartphones – considered popular in years past when they initially hit the market – have faded from popularity in lieu of more traditional fare. "The reality is that she doesn’t need a new smartphone or tablet every year,” Passikoff said, “no matter how much tech brands wish that was the case.”

Specialty, Department Stores on the Rise

Where consumers are shopping aligns closely with what they're buying, Passikoff added, with "particular venues reflected in the shift to more traditional gifts." Specialty stores and department stores increased substantially, both posting 10 percent gains in consumer traffic due in large part to the renewed popularity of clothing, jewelry and personal services, while discount and online stores remained unchanged. 

As Mother's Day further evolves to include a broader spectrum of relationships, including step-moms, female relatives, partners and friends, marketers now have a larger consumer base. "Changing family dynamics, including divorced and single-parent households, and the fact that this holiday crosses ethnic, cultural, and religious boundaries," Passikoff concludes, "presents a real opportunity for retailers.”


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