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Survey: Mother’s Day spending expected to surge; department stores are big winners


Washington, D.C. -- Whether it’s on jewelry or apparel, gift cards or brunch, families this year are expected to spend more for Mother’s Day than they have in the last decade or more. And the largest portion of that spending will be at U.S. department stores.

According to the National Retail Federation’s Mother’s Day Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, Americans will spend an average of $172.63 on mom this year, up nearly $10 from $162.94 last year and the highest amount in the survey’s 12-year history. Total spending is expected to reach $21.2 billion.

“We’re encouraged by the positive shift we’ve seen in spending on discretionary and gift items from consumers so far this year, certainly boding well for retailers across all spectrums who are planning to promote Mother’s Day specials, including home improvement, jewelry, apparel and other specialty retailers as well as restaurants,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

When it comes to gifts, the majority of consumers will pick up a greeting card for mom (80%), spending more than $786 million, and more than two-thirds (67.2%) of those celebrating will buy flowers, to the tune of $2.4 billion. Shoppers also plan on gifting apparel and clothing items (35.8%), spending more than $1.9 billion, up from $1.7 billion last year.

Families will also surprise mom with a special brunch or activity ($3.8 billion), electronic items like a new smartphone or e-reader ($1.8 billion), personal services such as a spa day ($1.5 billion), housewares or gardening tools ($890 million) and books and CDs ($480 million).

Looking for a ‘wow’ from mom, 34.2% of Mother’s Day shoppers are planning to splurge on jewelry, spending a survey high of $4.3 billion for the special day, up from 31.7% and $3.6 billion last year.

Two-in-five (44.2%) will give mom a gift card, spending more than $2.2 billion.

By retail category, most shoppers will head to department stores (33.4%), while others will shop at specialty stores (28.2%) or discount stores (24.8%). With shoppers ready to get out of the house after a long winter, fewer shoppers will be shopping online this year (25% vs. 29% last year.)

The survey shows that 18- to 24-year-olds who own smartphones and tablets are most likely to use these devices to research products and compare prices for gifts (46%), and are most likely to use their tablets to purchase a gift (30.2%) – but this age group won’t necessarily be the biggest spenders compared to other age groups: 25- to 34-year-olds plan to spend the most on mom, at an average of $244.32; 18- to 24-year-olds will spend an average of $214.81.

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