Mother's Day Spending Up, Macaroni Necklaces Rule

Pasta-Necklace-Shutterstock-BWith four separate consumer forecasts predicting spending increases for Mother’s Day, there’s little doubt that most moms will get something on May 12. But what do American mothers say they really crave? Bring on the crayon cards, pasta jewelry and husband-propelled vacuum cleaners. 

Market researcher NPD, in a study for Child’s Play Communications, found that of the more than 2,000 moms of kids 18 and younger it sampled, a handmade gift from their child was on the top of the list, chosen by 14.6%. No. 2, however, was a day off entirely for herself (13.6%), closely followed by a spa day (12.9%). And apparently, they have become bored with sticky sheets: Only 1.3% say they want breakfast in bed. 

The predictions about what these moms will actually get, however, vary considerably. The National Retail Federation just released its annual survey, conducted by BIGinsight, and predicts that consumers will spend an average of $168.94 on mom -- up 11% from last year’s $152.52, with total spending expected to top reach $20.7 billion.

Among its findings: More than 14% -- the highest percentage in the history of its survey -- intend to buy something electronic for Mom, with iPads leading the list. One third say they will buy jewelry, it reports, with more consumers looking to buy group gifts to ease budgetary constraints.

A meal out, flowers and gift cards are also high on the list. And 29% will buy these gifts online, also a record.

Meanwhile, both IBISWorld, which is predicting that Mother’s Day spending will rise 6.5%, and Brand Keys, anticipating a 5% gain in spending, believe consumers will frown on those electronics, as consumers look for more traditional ways to make mom feel loved. 

IBIS also sees a 5.1% drop in greeting cards, as consumers become increasingly enamored of e-cards and social-network greetings.) 

And while the Brand Keys study reports that 92% of consumers intend to observe the day, the reality may be a little different: 23.6% of the moms in the NPD survey say they got bupkis last year. And 21.3% say that they expect their families will not spend any money on gifts, with "zero" being the price range category with the highest percentage response in the NPD study, followed by $10 (16.7%) then $20 (15.3%).

"Pasta Necklace photo from Shutterstock"

Tags: holiday, moms, retail
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