US Mother’s Day spend: Is $205 per mum really likely?

Mother's Day 2016, picture courtesy Saks

Mother’s Day 2016, picture courtesy Saks

The spring season may not have started that well but Mother’s Day on May 8 in the US should bring some relief if a new survey is to be believed. The annual Brand Keys Mother’s Day Survey shows that around 80% of respondents plan to but clothing as gifts.

Around 59% will buy jewellery and only 12% will buy tech products.

One thing those figures show is that many people are planning to buy more than one gift, so no getting away with a bunch of gas station flowers and a card then. It’s just one more sign of what was once a day more about visiting mum with a small gift turing into a major spending occasion.

“Cards, meals and flowers have become ‘price of entry’ for the holiday,” WWD reported Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys, saying.

“But when it comes to more substantial gifts, clothing showed the greatest change from last year — up 10%. Jewellery was up by 7%, and spending on tech-related gifts was virtually unchanged.”

The people Brand Keys spoke to plan to spend on average $205 this year, a 6% increase over 2015, which feels pretty huge to me. UK Mother’s Day was last month and I think my mum would have strangled me if I spent that much on her!

Anyway, American men plan to spend more than women on gifts and treats, with an average $228, while women trail on a still-generous $182.

How reliable are these figures? Well, Brand Keys spoke to 6,133 men and women, aged 18 through 65 and 88% of them said they plan to celebrate the day, WWD said.

But it’s not just about people buying gifts for their mums. Stepmums, female relatives, friends, single-parent households, are all in on the act. And significantly Brand Keys said it’s a spending opportunity that “crosses cultural, ethnic and religious boundaries, making it a real opportunity for retailers.”

But the spending frenzy isn’t completely OTT. Many respondents (65% of them in fact) said they’re going to wait until late April or early May to get good deals before they spend.

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