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“Tradition” is the watchword when it comes to gift-giving for Mom this year, as nine of 10 consumers plan to celebrate Mother’s Day, with total spending estimated to reach nearly $17.2 billion, according to the annual Brand Keys Mother’s Day survey.
Celebrants intend to spend an average of $163 this year, up 10 percent over 2011. Men, following a long-time pattern, intend to spend more than women, reporting an anticipated average spend of $190. Women anticipate spending $136 on Mom.
“Last year shoppers went high-tech,” said Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys founder and president. “But this year, they’re going with more traditional gifts, including cards, brunch or dinner, flowers, jewelry and clothing. The shift back is a reflection of last year’s purchases when e-readers, tablets, and smartphones were the gift-of-choice. After all, no matter how much you love Mom, she doesn’t need a new computer or e-reader every year.”
As part of the Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, the New York City-based brand and customer loyalty research consultancy polled 5,000 men and women age 18 to 60 about how they were planning to celebrate Mother’s Day. Here’s what they found (percentages in parentheses indicate changes from last year):
Cards 97% (unchanged)
Flowers 73% (+3%)
Brunch/Lunch/Dinner 60% (+2%)
Gift Cards 58% (unchanged)
Clothing 42% (+6%)
Jewelry 38% (+13)
Spa Services 20% (+3%)
Books /e-books 20% (+3%)
Candy 5% (unchanged)
Electronics 10% (-10%)
“The largest increases for gifts were in jewelry and clothing, both areas in which consumers had cut back in recent years,” Passikoff noted. “Generally all other areas showed no changes or only small increases from last year, except, of course, electronics and that was way up last year.”
As to shopping venues, discount and department stores and online remain generally unchanged; catalogs and specialty retail were each down 5 percent.
While the second-biggest consumer-spending holiday behind Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanza, Mother’s Day involves a broader spectrum of relationships, embracing step-moms, female relatives and friends. Changing family dynamics, including divorced and single-parent households, and the fact that this holiday crosses ethnic, cultural, and religious boundaries makes it a real opportunity for retailers.
“Mother’s Day has become a universal holiday. While the economy and retailers have trained consumers to look for deals, people are feeling better about the economy and about the future,” Passikoff said, “and that’s showing up in their Mother’s Day spending plans.”