Spending for Mother's Day Holiday to Top $23 Billion

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For only the second time in 15 years, total retail spending for Mother’s Day this year is estimated to exceed $23 billion. Compared to last year’s spending of $23.6 billion, Mother’s Day 2018 is expected to post sales of $23.1 billion.

Some 86% of Americans plan to celebrate Mother’s Day this year, and on average each is expected to spend $180. Last year’s average was $186.

The estimates were reported Tuesday by the National Retail Federation. And in case you need a memory jog, Mother’s Day this year falls on Sunday, May 13.

National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said:

This year’s Mother’s Day forecast is one of the strongest we’ve ever seen. With spring in full bloom, Americans are looking forward to splurging on their mothers and retailers are prepared to offer a variety of options that will allow consumers to find the perfect gift for the occasion.

According to a survey of 7,520 consumers, here’s what mom can expect this year:

  • 34% of shoppers will spend $4.6 billion on jewelry.
  • 55% will spend $4.4 billion on a special dinner or brunch outing.
  • 69% will spend $2.6 billion on flowers.
  • 45% will spend $2.5 billion on gift cards.
  • 36% will spend $2.1 billion on clothing.
  • 14% will spend $2.1 billion on consumer electronics.
  • 24% will spend $1.8 billion on personal services like a day spa.
  • 19% will spend $956 million on housewares and gardening tools.
  • 77% will spend $813 million on greeting cards.
  • 19% will spend $494 million on books or music.

How does that spending compare to what mothers say they want? According to the survey, 29% would like an experience gift, like a spa day or concert tickets. Those gifts are most often given by 18- to 34-year-olds (45%).

Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 will be the biggest spenders this year, averaging $224. Mother’s Day shoppers between the ages of 18 and 24 are most likely (62%) to use smartphones to research their purchases and compare prices.

When shopping for gifts, 35% of consumers will head to department stores and 31% will shop online. Nearly 30% plan to shop at specialty stores such as florists, jewelers or electronics stores, and 23% plan to shop at a local small business. Discount stores (22%) and specialty clothing stores (10%) are also on shoppers’ list of places to go.

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