Mother’s Day spending in U.S. to top $23.1 billion

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 239 views 

Mother’s Day, rooted in the sentiment of honoring the one you call “mom,” has grown to the second largest spending retail holiday behind Christmas. The National Retail Federation estimates the average person will spend $180 this year honoring their mother or other women in their lives.

The total spend is expected to top $23.1 billion, slightly less than the $23.6 billion spent last year, and 86% of consumers will take part in giving Mother’s Day gifts.

“This year’s Mother’s Day forecast is one of the strongest we’ve ever seen,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “With spring in full bloom, Americans are looking forward to splurging on their mothers and retailers are prepared to offer a variety of options that will allow consumers to find the perfect gift for the occasion.”

Shay said the growing economy puts this year’s spend as the second highest on record behind 2017.

“Those consumers between 35 and 44 years old are planning to spend the most this season, while younger consumers are the most likely to put their online shopping skills to good use to find inspiration for the perfect gift for mom,” said Phil Rist, executive vice president with Prosper Insights who collaborated with NRF for this year’s survey.

Rist said this group of spenders ages 35-44 will dole out an average $224. However, those between 18-24 will most likely use smartphones to research their purchases and compare prices. The survey found 34% of consumers will spend $4.6 billion on jewelry, slightly ahead of the $4.4 billion which 55% of respondents said they will spend on outings such as dinner or brunch.

Flowers are another common go-to gift for mom as 69% said they plan to give mom a bouquet of freshly cut blooms or potted plants for a total spend of $2.6 billion. Gift cards remain a popular choice by 45% of consumers who will spend $2.5 million on cards to redeemed later.

Following are other gift categories for Mother’s Day.
• Consumer electronics: $2.1 billion spent by 14% of shoppers
• Personal services: $1.8 billion, 24%
• Housewares: $813 million, 77%,
• Books or music: $494 million, 19%

The survey also looked at what moms hope to receive on this annual occasion. About one-third said they hope to receive a gift of experience such as a spa day or concert tickets. Those most likely to give their moms an experiential gift are those consumers between the age of 18 and 34. Other survey results include:
• More telephone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year. About 122 million phone calls will be to moms on Sunday;
• Millennial moms number about 16 million in the U.S. ; and
• About one-third of Mother’s Day gifts will be purchased online this year.

The ceremonial holiday is a big one for retailers who began setting Mother’s Day displays on the heels of Easter. Consumer confidence has been on an upswing this spring despite an uptick in fuel costs in recent weeks. Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, said last month consumers rated business and labor market condition favorably and incomes are expected to increase slightly helping to bolster discretionary spending. Franco said overall confidence levels remain strong and suggest the economy will continue expanding at a solid pace in the months ahead.

Following are the top holiday spending seasons between June 2017 and May 2018.
Christmas Holiday: $692 billion or over $1,000 per person
Mother’s Day: $23.1 billion or $180 per person
Valentine’s Day: $19.6 billion or $143.56 per person
Father’s Day: $15.5 billion or $134.75 per person
Halloween: $9.1 billion or $86.13 per person
Independence Day: $7.1 billion or $73.42 per person
St. Patrick’s Day: $5.9 billion or $39.65 per person