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Consumers intend to splurge on mom

Mother’s Day may be considered a “Hallmark Holiday,” but that won’t stop consumers from showering mom with gifts on May 8. According to NRF’s 2011 Mother’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, conducted by BIGresearch, the average person celebrating the holiday is expected to spend $140.73 on gifts, up from $126.90 last year, and a return to 2008 spending levels. Total spending is expected to reach $16.3 billion.

Though Walmart is a popular destination for picking up cards and last-minute gifts, NRF found that consumers plan to purchase more indulgent gifts for mom this year, and are going to department stores to do it. When it comes to where people will shop, the survey found nearly one-third (32 %) of gift buyers will shop at a department store, the most in the survey’s history. Others will shop at discounters (29.6%), specialty stores including jewelers, florists and electronics stores (31.8%), online (21.5%) or at a specialty clothing store (7.1%).

 “This Mother’s Day, the woman who often puts herself last is being put first,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Americans are in a much better position to spend this year and will push the daily stresses of high gas and food costs aside for one day to celebrate the most important women in the world to them.” 

Popular gifts for mom are expected to include smartphones, cameras and tablets, with the percentage of people planning to buy electronics rising 48% from last year. Jewelry will also be a popular gift option for mom, with 31.2% of celebrants planning to buy mom silver, gold or diamonds, up 19 percent from last year. Total spending on jewelry is expected to reach $3 billion.

Citi echoed NRF’s findings, noting that Americans plan to spend more on Mother’s Day ($122) than on Valentine’s Day ($68) or Father’s Day ($88).  

Of course what consumers say they will buy, and what they actually buy often differ, and those with the best intentions may still end up picking up some last minute flowers and a card at their local gas station.

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