Mother’s Day Spending Will Top $28B

Shoppers are expected to spend a new record of $28.1 billion for Mother’s Day this year, according to the National Retail Federation.
Mother's Day card

Shoppers are expected to spend a new record of $28.1 billion for Mother’s Day this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

That’s up $1.4 billion from last year. On average, each consumer making Mother’s Day purchases will spend $220.48--the highest amount in the survey’s history, and an increase of $16 over last year. The findings from NRF’s survey align with other recent data revealing shoppers are ready to spend and get back out into stores.

What’s more, 83% of adults surveyed by NRF said they plan to celebrate the holiday, reflecting that Americans are feeling more confident as the national Covid-19 vaccination program continues to roll out. The findings come the same week the Biden administration announced roughly half of U.S. adults have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose.

Executive summary

“There is a lot of consumer optimism around Mother’s Day this year as more people are getting vaccinated and stimulus checks are being distributed,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “For many, this is a chance to make up for last year’s Mother’s Day when we were under lockdown. With safety guidelines at top of mind, consumers are planning to be with family, are making travel plans and organizing a special brunch or outing. All of these activities will be reflected through their purchasing decisions.”

Americans are planning to spend mostly on jewelry, which accounts for 59% of the forecast additional spending for the year. Electronics come second, accounting for 28% of the $1.4 billion spending increase. The big buyers of these products in 2021 are expected to be those between 25 and 34, with an average spend of $367.08, up $99 from last year. This age range is more likely to shop for not only their own mothers, but also spouses and grandmothers.

Nearly half of consumers said they are planning a special Mother’s Day outing--up from last year, but still down compared to before the pandemic. That indicates that not everyone is ready to venture out, according to Phil Rist, vice president of strategy at Prosper, which conducted the survey for NRF. Last year’s Mother’s Day also fell during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, when the U.S. was under lockdown phases in several regions. 

As for where consumers are shopping, 34% plan to purchase online; 28% plan to shop at department stores; 26% will head to specialty stores like florists or jewelers; and 23% plan to shop with small businesses.

“As we’ve seen with other holiday events, a large majority (82[%]) say that as a result of the pandemic, celebrating Mother's Day this year is important to them,” Rist said.

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