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The Mother of All Holidays: What Shoppers Are Buying for Mother’s Day

Calling it one of the most universally celebrated holidays, National Retail Federation CEO Matthew Shay said Mother’s Day would see consumers spending a total of $19.9 billion this year, and 29% of Mother’s Day shoppers would shop online to find gifts. Others will head to specialty stores (33.5%), department stores (32.4%), and discount stores (24%).

Americans will spend an average of $162.94 on mothers this year, down from a survey high of $168.94 last year, according to NRF’s 2014 Mother’s Day Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Most consumers will buy mothers a greeting card (81.3%), and two-thirds (66.6%) of those celebrating the holiday will buy flowers, spending a total of $2.3 billion. Other gift categories include:

  • Special outings like brunch or dinner ($3.8 billion);
  • Jewelry ($3.6 billion);
  • Apparel and accessory items ($1.7 billion);
  • Consumer electronics ($1.7 billion);
  • Personal experience gifts like a day at the spa ($1.5 billion);
  • Housewares or gardening tools ($812 million);
  • Books and CDs ($480 million).

Total spending on gift cards is expected to reach $2.1 billion, up from $2.0 billion last year.

Prosper Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow said, “Americans haven’t forgotten about the state of the economy and are treating their finances and gift-giving budgets in a way that keeps practicality top of mind. But like we saw with Valentine’s Day and Easter, people this year will look for special ways to treat mom to something nice without breaking the bank, knowing it’s the thought that counts.”

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The poll of 6,535 consumers was conducted from April 1-8, 2014 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.