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Mother’s Day spending is expected to total a record $25 billion this year, says the NRF in a new forecast, representing an 8% increase from last year’s $23.1 billion. Some 84% of American adults are planning to celebrate Mother’s Day (down from 86% in 2018), with these celebrants estimating they’ll spend $196 each, on average. This is a full $16 more than last year’s estimated per-celebrant spending average of $180.

Respondents ages 35-44 are expected to be the biggest spenders again this year, allocating an average of $248 per celebrant to Mother’s Day gifts.

The largest amount of spending will go to the following categories, per the report:

  • Jewelry – $5.2 billion total (up from $4.6 billion last year), with 35% of celebrants buying;
  • Special outings such as dinner or brunch – $4.6 billion total (up from $4.4 billion), with 55% planning an outing;
  • Flowers – $2.6 billion total (flat), with 67% expecting to purchase; and
  • Gift cards – $2.6 billion total (up from $2.5 billion last year), planned by 45%.

Some 44% of respondents cited that finding something unique was the most important factor when choosing a Mother’s Day gift.

In terms of shopping destinations, the NRF survey reveals that 4 in 5 (81%) of respondents will get their gift inspiration from retailers. Supporting the view that shoppers are looking for that special gift, a separate survey [PDF] of 18-65-year-olds from Brand Keys indicates that more consumers intend to head to specialty stores (70%) than to department stores (45%) and e-commerce sites (48%). Quite a few are looking for a bargain though – with more than half (55%) looking at discount stores.

Meanwhile, a study by Bluecore analyzed shopper interactions with 30 retailers that actively engaged in Mother’s Day marketing campaigns in 2018 across the jewelry, beauty, specialty gifting and high-end apparel categories. The report revealed the following Mother’s Day shopping behavior:

  • Two days prior to Mother’s Day there was a 55% increase in purchases of specialty gifts such as flowers and wine and a 27% increase the day of;
  • High-end retail experience a 77% increase in purchases 6 days before Mother’s Day;
  • Five days prior to Mother’s Day, jewelry purchases increased 56%; and
  • Jewelry received the most shopper interest prior to Mother’s Day.

About the Data: The NRF data is based on a survey conducted from April 1-11 among 7,321 US adults (18+). The Brand Keys data is based on a survey of 8,200 adults ages 18-65. Bluecore derived its data from 22.3M first-party cookies, across 15.2M cart events, 226.5K unique products, 3.88M orders and $468.4M in total sales.

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