High Expectations for Mother’s Day and Consumer Spending Trends

Many Americans are planning to be generous for this upcoming Mother’s Day holiday, with spending projected to hit a record $25 billion this year. This is an increase from $23.1 billion in 2018, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation (NRF). Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12.

A total 84 percent of U.S. adults are expected to celebrate in honor of their mothers and other women in their lives, according to NRF.

“Mother’s Day spending has been growing consistently over the past several years, and this year’s spending is expected to be the highest in the 16-year history of our survey,” NRF president and chief executive Matthew Shay said. “Consumers are excited to celebrate all the moms in their lives, and retailers are ready to inspire consumers with unique gift options.”

While the number of people celebrating Mother’s Day is in line with last year’s 86 percent, those celebrating are expected to spend more at an average $196 compared with $180 in 2018. Consumers ages 35-44 are likely to spend the most at an average $248, up from $224, and men are likely to spend more than women at $237 compared with $158.

Newer models of gift-giving such as special outings and gift cards are growing, also. And jewelry is very popular, with increased spending on jewelry representing 31 percent of the expected increase over last year.

Many of those celebrating cited finding something unique (44 percent) as the most important factor when picking out a Mother’s Day gift, followed by one that creates a special memory (39 percent). More than 8 in 10 (81 percent) indicate they will look to retailers for gifting inspiration.

The 2019 survey of 7,321 U.S. adults 18 and older was conducted April 1-11 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association.