Mother’s Day sales estimated to reach $26.7 billion, up 7% from 2019

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 1,324 views 

Consumers are expected to spend big on moms this year for Mother’s Day (May 10) with a total of $26.7 billion that could be spent with retailers and restaurants, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). That’s a 7% increase over the $24.95 billion estimate a year ago.

The average spend is expected to rise $8 to $204.74 this year, which is a record over the $196.47 high in 2019. Average Mother’s Day spending has increased by 18.6% over the past five years.

COVID-19 has kept most families at home for the past six to eight weeks, but 78% of consumers surveyed said celebrating Mother’s Day is important and they will find a way to do it.

“With cities and communities still under stay-at-home mandates across the country and many schools and offices closed for the foreseeable future, it’s not surprising that COVID-19 would impact Mother’s Day plans this year. However, the vast majority (71%) of consumers are social distancing and are concerned about the pandemic’s impact on their health and financial stability. At the same time, consumers are planning to spend as much, if not more, on Mother’s Day than they have in the past,” said Katherine Cullen, senior director of consumer insights at the NRF.

Cullen said 46% of the respondents still plan to have special outing, brunch or other activity, which begs the question if households are ready to return to normal. Phil List, an executive strategist for Prosper Insights who surveyed NRF, said families are in a unique position this year, which he thinks is the catalyst for the added spending.

“Some consumers are looking to make up for the fact they can’t take mom out by sending her something a little extra special this year,” List said.

Consumers between the ages of 35 and 44 plan to spend the most on mom this year at $296, followed by Millennials ages 25 to 34 who plan to $268 this year. The youngest cohort ages 18 to 24 are the most likely (93%) to spend the day with mom, followed by 83% of those between 25 and 34 years of age. That number fell to 73% of consumers between 35 and 44 years old, and 66% of those ages 45-54. Still, nearly half (47%) of consumers 55-64 said they plan to celebrate on Mother’s Day.

Cullen said COVID-19 has changed some of the shopping patterns of consumers and that is being seen in this year’s Mother’s Day data. Categories more consumers are most apt to shop this Mother’s Day include electronics up 24%, books and CDs, up 22% and housewares up 21% from a year ago. Greeting cards and flowers are the most common purchases with more than 70% of men and women saying that’s what they will buy. Roughly half will purchase gift cards, while jewelry will be purchased by 40% of men and nearly 30% of women. More than half of men say they will plan a special outing as will nearly 40% of women respondents. Also, subscription boxes are gaining traction this year as 39% of men and 32% of women are leaning this way for their Mother’s Day gift.

While some states such as Arkansas are starting to reopen social distancing is still the protocol that has prompted 66% of the respondents to celebrate virtually with their loved ones. One-third of the respondents said they are looking first to retailers who offer gift suggestions and coupons.

Following are numbers from the National Retail Federation about holiday spending between June 2019 and May 2020.
• Christmas Holiday: $730.2 billion, more than $1,107 per person
• Valentine’s Day: $27.4 billion, or $196.31 per person
• Mother’s Day: $26.7 billion, or $204 per person
• Father’s Day: $16 billion, or $195 per person
• Halloween: $9 billion, or $86.79 per person
• Independence Day: $6.7 billion or $73.33 per person
• St. Patrick’s Day: $6.16 billion, or $42.96 per person