Mother's Day Retail: Candy, Flowers And Much More Featured

  • Written by  David DeZuzio

Mother’s Day is a day for celebrating everything that makes mom great. Americans will spend billions this year on jewelry, cards, candy and flowers, but if they listened to their mothers, most would be spending nothing more than their time. Yes, mom’s love transcends retail excess.1-mothers-day

In spite of mom’s request, and fortunately for retailers, Mother’s Day continues to grow and is now America’s third-largest retail holiday. According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey, conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average of $172.22, down slightly from last year’s record-high $172.63, with a total of $21.4 billion projected to be spent this year.


“It’s clear that Americans want to honor their mothers this Mother’s Day,” said Matthew Shay, President and CEO of NRF in a statement. “Whether it’s a special meal at her favorite restaurant, jewelry or a new smartphone, families are planning to indulge mom again this year.”

Retailers are sure to make their own moms proud by taking these important tips into consideration:

  • Mother's Day gift categories are expanding to include non-traditional gender choices (e.g. power tools);
  • If you haven't already placed online and mobile ads, don't wait any longer to delay post them;
  • Be prepared for returns after the holiday, particularly in personal choice categories like jewelry; and
  • Keep those shelves stocked as one-third of consumers will visit a brick-and-mortar location.

Mom’s Wishes Vs. What Mom Will Get

Here are the top five requests from moms across America, according to an survey. Notice the wish to be close to her loved ones is nearly double her wish for a handful of flowers (hint, hint):

  • 63% Quality time with her family;
  • 33% Flowers;
  • 28% Chocolate;
  • 28% Spa day; and
  • 27% Family brunch.

The nearly 85% of Americans who will mark the day with tangible gifts will spend their money on the following, according to NRF: 

  • $4.2 billion on jewelry;
  • $4.1 billion on special outings such as dinner or brunch;
  • $2.4 billion on flowers;
  • $2.2 billion on gift cards;
  • $1.9 billion on clothing; 
  • $1.9 billion on consumer electronics; and
  • $1.6 billion on personal services, like a day at the spa

When And Where Consumers Are Shopping

While search volume initially peaks in mid-April, click-through rates peak two weeks before Mother’s Day. Most users are active the week before the holiday. So it is essential that ads are up and running at least two weeks before the big day.

Good news for brick-and-mortar retailers: 33% of consumers will head to department stores and 28.7% will shop at specialty stores, while 23.1% plan to shop at a local small business. But not everyone will make it to a store: 27.3% will shop online, up from 25% last year. Among smartphone owners, 29.6% will research gift ideas on their phones while 15.5% will use them to make a purchase.

Well, We Can’t Come Empty-Handed, Mom; Here’s a Drill

Also found in the Ebates’ annual Mother’s Day survey (and perhaps more reflective of modern-day cool and changing gender roles) is that families should expand their search radius with a stop at Home Depot. Yes, some moms are choosing power tools (20%) and tickets to a sporting event (21%) as gifts they’d like to receive. Fun for everyone!

“This year’s survey demonstrates that gift choices vary between moms, with some looking forward to the classic gifts like flowers and chocolates, and others looking forward to getting pampered,” said Kevin H. Johnson, CEO of Ebates in a statement.

The survey also revealed that 42% of moms pick out their own Mother’s Day gifts some of the time, while another 8% say they always pick out their own gifts. The other half trust their families to get it right the first time, and never buy their own gifts. But while we’re on the subject…

Acknowledge That You Might Have Lousy Taste In Jewelry

We mentioned $4.2 billion will be spent on jewelry for mom this year, but before you pick out that emerald-eyed gold plated unicorn necklace, consider this. Last year, the jewelry return rate nearly doubled in the period immediately following Mother’s Day, climbing from 12.7% to a whopping 24%. Overall, there is a potential $1 billion in returns coming back to retailers in a few short weeks. Maybe the 42% of moms who pick out their own gifts are on to something.

Spa Day: Yes. Gym Membership: Um, No

There are certain things everyone out there knows not to do: don’t leave the toilet seat up; don’t cross the street without looking both ways; and, it probably goes without saying, do not get your mom a gym membership for Mother’s Day unless she very specifically requests it. The survey revealed that the No. 1 gift American moms do not want to receive is a gym membership (94%). Please do not confuse the 28% of moms requesting a spa day with a gym membership. To round out the list of unwanted gifts, toys, games, hobbies, books or magazines all received less than 20% approval ratings.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

Yes, we all love our mothers and it is clear that we love to spend lots of money to prove it. For new moms, experienced moms and grandmas, it’s a great day to celebrate. Even if you pick the wrong gift, or have no gift to give, it’s the thought that counts. Of course, there’s nothing she would love more than to see you or at least hear your voice. Thanks to modern technology, this can be accomplished without an in-person visit, through a video gift message. And that personal touch, dear shoppers, is what it’s all about.

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