But if the results of the National Retail Federation (NRF)’s 2012 Mother’s Day consumer spending survey are correct, they’ll be millions of things given to mothers on May 13—some $18.6 billion in gift purchases.
Retailers have been bullish on Mother’s Day this spring, given the sharp upturn in spending on spring fashions ahead of Easter. NRF reports, in fact, that 32.8% of U.S. shoppers plan to buy mom clothing and accessories, which will amount to some $1.6 billion.
“Despite grappling with high gas prices, Americans will look for sentimental and unique ways to shower mom with affection this year,” said Matthew Shay, NRF’s president/ceo. “As one of the most important holidays of the year, consumers can expect to see a wide range of promotions from mom’s favorite retailers leading up to the big day, including savings on apparel and electronics and even special Mother’s Day menu options at restaurants.”
According to this year’s Mother’s Day consumer spending survey conducted by BIGinsight, the average person celebrating the holiday is expected to spend $152.52 on gifts, up from $140.73 last year.
Department Stores Get Thumbs Up from Shoppers
Besides clothing and accessories, two thirds (66.4%) will buy flowers, 12.7% electronics, and over half (54.3%) of all celebrants will treat mom to a nice dinner or brunch, spending $3.4 billion.
Department stores will be the most likely destination to search for Mother’s Day gifts: nearly two-thirds (35.6%) of gift buyers plan to shop at a department store, the most in the NRF survey’s history. Adults ages 18 to 24 also prefer to shop at department stores where more than half (55.7%) will look for the perfect gift for mom. Other retail destinations: 30.2% of shoppers will head to discount stores, specialty stores including jewelers, florists and electronics stores (36.3%) and specialty clothing stores (8.2%). About one-quarter (25.6%) of shoppers will buy their gifts online, up from 21.5% last year.
“While still very mindful of their finances, consumers will open their wallets a little more this year to ensure Mother’s Day is extra special for the women in their lives” said Phil Rist, executive vice president at BIGinsight. “Many will use the opportunity to comparison shop and research products to save a few bucks, utilizing their mobile and tablet devices at home and in stores as they look for gifts and other ways to celebrate.”
Indeed, nearly one in four (39.3%) of smartphone users and 51.2% of tablet computer owners plan to use their devices to help them stop for mom. Specifically for tablet owners, 24.4% will purchase a gift for mom, 35.7% will research products and compare prices, and 19.6% will look up retailer information such as store hours and location.
This will especially be the case with consumers under 35. Tablet owners ages 18 to 24 (40.4%) and 25 to 34 (40.9%) said they plan to shop and purchase gift items for mom via their tablets.
Of the 86.5% of the population who say they celebrate Mother’s Day, nearly 65% will shop for their mom or stepmom, while others will buy gifts for their wife (22.4%), daughter (10.5%), grandmother (8.2%), sister (8.4%), friend (7.6%) or godmother (2.1%).
Men will spend an average of $189.74 on the women in their life this Mother’s Day, compared to the $117.42 women will spend.
About the Survey
The NRF 2012 Mother’s Day consumer spending survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the Mother’s Day holiday. The survey was conducted for NRF by BIGinsight. The poll of 8,724 consumers was conducted from April 3 to 10. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0%.