Mother’s Day Spending to Top $14 Billion

It’s not easy having the hardest job in the world, but mom will likely understand the reasoning behind smaller, less expensive gifts for Mother’s Day. According to NRF’s 2009 Mother’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, Americans will spend an average of $123.89 per person, compared to last year’s $138.63. Total Mother’s Day spending is expected to reach $14.10 billion*, which is slightly more than Easter.

Of the four in five Americans (83.3%) who will celebrate Mother’s Day, the majority will focus on the women with whom they are closest. Most people (62.4%) will purchase gifts for their mother/stepmother or wife (21.7%) and scale back on gifts for daughters (8.8% vs. 9.4% in 2008), friends (6.8% vs. 7.1% in 2008) and godmothers (1.6% vs. 2.1% in 2008) in order to save some money.

“Retailers understand that people are on strict budgets, even for important holidays,” said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin. “Budget-friendly gift ideas will abound this Mother’s Day: discounted digital cameras, books and apparel still show mom how much she is appreciated.”

The majority of people (66.8%) will buy flowers for mom, spending a total of $1.9 billion on those purchases. Slightly more than half (54.8%) will treat mom to a special outing such as dinner or brunch, for a total of $2.7 billion. People will also spend $2.3 billion on jewelry, $1.5 billion on gift cards, $1.2 billion on clothing or clothing accessories, and $1.1 million on personal services such as a day at the spa. In addition, consumers will spend $857 million on electronics or computer-related accessories, $587 million on housewares and gardening tools, and $487 million on books or CDs.

In the search for the best bargains, one-third (30.2%) of Mother’s Day shoppers will purchase mom’s gift from discount stores, while 27.2 percent will search out their favorite department store. Others will head to specialty stores like florists, gift stores and electronics stores (33.0%) and specialty clothing stores (5.5%). As evidence that the internet continues to play an important role in the way people shop, 18.2 percent will shop online.

“No one will forgo celebrating Mother’s Day because of the bad economy, but they will put careful thought into what they buy and how much they spend,“ said Phil Rist, Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch. “Moms will understand that kids may be spending on a budget, so inexpensive, personal gifts will go a long way.”
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