Neither a struggling economy nor high gas prices can rain on Mother’s Day’s parade. The National Retail Federation forecasts that the average person will spend $152.52 on Mother’s Day gifts this year, up from $140.73 last year. Total spending for this Sunday’s celebrations of mom are expected to reach $18.6 billion.
Mother’s Day is the second only to the winter holiday season as the nation’s biggest retail holiday, according to the NRF (although consumers do spend more on back to school purchases).
Mothers can expect traditional tokens of their family’s esteem. Two-thirds (66.4 percent) are expected to buy flowers, spending a total of $2.2 billion, and nearly one-third (32.8 percent) will gift mom with a new blouse or sweater, spending $1.6 billion on clothing and accessories. More than half (54.3 percent) will treat mom to brunch or dinner, spending $3.4 billion.
Also projected to break the billion dollar barrier are gift cards ($1.8 billion) and personal services, such as a spa visit ($1.3 billion).
The average price of a greeting card is between $2-$4, according to the Greeting Card Association, but those 21st century cards that play popular songs or clips of movie dialogue will cost more.
Technology is an increasingly popular Mother’s Day gift. A recent BabyCenter/Nielsen report find that mom’s already experts at multitasking, are early adapters of the latest media formats. Moms, the survey concluded, use the latest digital devices not as luxuries, but as necessities in managing their lives. Thus, the NRF projects Americans to spend $1.6 billion on tablets, digital cameras, and other gadgets.
Mothers are seemingly recession proof. More than one-third (35.6 percent) of Mother’s Day shoppers will buy their gift at a department store, the most in the NRF survey’s history. Millennials ages 18-24 will also most likely be shopping old-school for mom at a department store (55.7 percent).
But 39 percent of smartphone owners and 51 percent of tablet users said they will be using their devices to comparison shop, redeem coupons, and research products.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.