National Jeweler Network

Retail Surveys

NRF: Consumers feeling practical this Mother’s Day

May 01, 2014

Washington--U.S. consumers are expected to spend slightly less on mom this Mother’s Day and they will keep practicality in mind when shopping.

According to the National Retail Federation’s 2014 Mother’s Day Spending Survey, Americans will spend an average of $163 on moms this spring, down from the $169 spent last year.

Total spending is expected to reach nearly $20 billion, with jewelry spending projected to account for $3.6 million of that, falling behind other popular Mother’s Day presents such as cards, flowers and spa days.

According to the NRF survey, most shoppers will acknowledge Mother’s Day with a greeting card (81 percent), followed by flowers (67 percent), spending $2.3 billion, and apparel and accessories (34 percent), spending $1.7 billion.

They also will buy books and CDs ($480 million), housewares or gardening tools ($812 million), personal experiences like a “spa” day ($1.5 billion), jewelry and outings such as brunch or dinner ($3.8 billion).

The NRF said consumers have spent the last few years buying electronic gifts for Mother’s Day, such as tablets, smartphones and cameras, and may not feel the need to invest in those items again this year. Only 13 percent of survey respondents said they would buy an electronic Mother’s Day gift, a total of $1.7 billion in spending, down from $2.3 billion in 2013.

Gifts cards also will come into the equation: 43 percent of consumers will go with this option, up from 42 percent last year, with total spending expected to reach $2.1 billion.

Although spending is expected to be up in a number of categories, the NRF emphasized the “practicality” consumers will practice this holiday.

“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,” said Pam Goodfellow, director of consumer insights at Prosper Insights & Analytics, which conducted the NRF’s survey.

Consumers between the ages of 25 and 34 will spend the most, an average of $217.

As far as shopping destinations go, most respondents will head to specialty stores (34 percent), followed by department stores (32 percent) and discount stores (24 percent). Another 29 percent will turn to the Internet to buy gifts.

For 18 to 24 year olds, department stores will be the most popular shopping destination (52 percent). 

In addition, it won’t just be moms receiving gifts on May 11. While 64 percent of survey-takers said they will shop for their mother or stepmother, 23 percent will shop for their wife, 9 percent will shop for their daughter and 7 percent will shop for their grandmother.

The NRF’s 2014 Mother’s Day Consumer Spending Survey was conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics and was designed to gauge consumer behavior and trends related to shopping for the holiday. It polled 6,535 consumers from April 1 to 8.