Mother’s Day Gift Spending: This Year, Less is More… Common

April 25, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Men | Retail & E-Commerce | Women

Some 84% of US consumers will celebrate Mother’s Day, most will scale back the number of gifts and instead purchase one major gift, and they will spend $138.63 ($0.51 less than last year) on average, according to the National Retail Federation.

“Mom has been saying for decades that it’s the thought that counts on Mother’s Day, and this year kids might actually be listening,” said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin. “Retailers will offer specials on popular items such as digital cameras and gardening tools to make it easy for those who want to surprise mom with a gift.”

Total consumer spending for Mother’s Day is expected to reach $15.8 billion, according to NRF’s survey on Mother’s Day consumer intentions and actions, conducted by BIGresearch.

The study finds that consumers will spend…

  • $3.0 billion on special dinners or brunch
  • $2.0 billion on flowers
  • $1.6 billion on gift cards/gift certificates
  • $1.4 on clothing and accessories
  • $1.2 billion on consumer electronics like digital cameras, digital photo frames and video cameras
  • $1.1 billion on personal service gifts like a trip to a favorite spa or salon
  • $696 million on housewares and gardening tools
  • $672 million on greeting cards

Consumers shopping for Mother’s Day gifts will head to…

  • Specialty stores (35.0%)
  • discount stores (25.7%)
  • department stores (28.8%)
  • specialty clothing stores (6.6%)
  • online (18.3%)
  • catalogs (3.4%)

Demographic highlights of the findings:


  • More men than women (15.4% vs. 11.1%) say they expect to spend more this year than last year.
  • Those earning more than 50k a year are slightly less likely to spend more this year than those in the <50k income bracket (12.9% vs. 13.4%).
  • However, the >50k group is more likely to celebrate Mother’s Day – just 12.6% don’t celebrate, as opposed to 18.3% of the <50k group.
  • At $170.71, young adults (18-24) will spend the most of any age group, as they are more likely to have multiple women to shop for (e.g., wives, mothers, grandmothers and sisters).
  • The 25-34 year-old age group will spend an average of $153.17, followed by 35-44 year-olds who will spend an average of $145.86.

About the survey: The NRF 2008 Mother’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted for NRF by BIGresearch, was a poll of 8,180 consumers, April 1-8, 2008.

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