May Holidays to Affect Month’s Sales Totals?

Columbus, OH–Retailers and market analysts will be keeping a close eye on Mother’s Day and Memorial Day holidays as reassurance that consumers are continuing to spend.

Although April sales figure released Thursday show a slowdown in some retail channels, May figures might be offset by increased spending for on Mother’s Day gifts. As the second largest gift-giving holiday after Christmas, Mother’s Day sales are expected to show improvement this year, several consumer polls have found

The latest survey from consulting firm Kantar Retail released Thursday predicts that the number of shoppers planning to spend the “same or more than a year ago” on Moms increased to 57% compared with 49% in 2009. Those planning to spend less dropped to 14% from 20%  last year.

The Kantar report cited consumers feel conditions are improving, particularly in shoppers’ more positive perceptions about investments and credit-related factors.

Memorial Day Falls on May 31

Some retailers,such as Macy’s and Costco, however, have warned that a late Memorial Day this year could hamper May increases while increasing June totals. Memorial Day falls on May 31 this year, a week later than in 2009.

Even with improved sales for Mother’s Day and the rest of the month, many economists predict a drawn-out rebound. An Associated Press Economic Survey of 44 economist found that two-thirds of them believe the last recession created “a new frugality” among consumers that will outlive the recession.

Also, economists point out that Mother’s Day spending was down 15% last year from 2008, so at a 4% growth rate it would take until 2013 for sales to return what they were two years ago.

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