April 22, 2021
Mother’s Day spending expectations total $28 billion

Mother’s Day spending is expected to total a record $28.1 billion this year, up $1.4 billion from 2020, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation (NRF). Approximately 83% of U.S. adults are expected to celebrate the annual holiday.


“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,” Matthew Shay, president and CEO for NRF, said. “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.”


Average spending.

This year consumers plan to spend an average of $220.48 on Mother’s Day items. This figure is $16 more than they planned to spend last year and the highest in the survey’s history.

Primary drivers.

Record spending on gifts of jewelry and electronics are the primary drivers of the increase. Jewelry accounts for over half (59%) of the $1.4 billion increase in spending while electronics accounts for over one-quarter (28%).

Consumer demographics.

Consumers ages 25-34 are also contributing to the increase in Mother’s Day spending. These shoppers plan to spend $367.08 on average or $99 more than last year. These shoppers are also the most likely to be planning gifts of higher dollar items like jewelry or electronics. In addition to buying gifts for their own moms, these shoppers are more likely to be buying for spouses and other recipients like grandmothers or friends.

Special outings.

This year, nearly half (49%) say they are planning a special Mother’s Day outing such as a brunch or other activity. While this is up slightly from last year, it is still below pre-pandemic levels.

“Even though consumers have indicated a growing comfort with pre-pandemic activities such as travel or dining out, there is still a lot of uncertainty,” Phil Rist, vice president of strategy for Prosper, said. “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.”

NRF’s 2020 Mother’s Day consumer survey occurred during the height of the government-mandated shutdowns. This year over one-third (34%) plan to purchase their Mother’s Day gifts online, down from 2020 when shoppers were dealing with mandated shutdowns, but still above pre-pandemic levels. In addition to ordering items online this year, consumers also plan to shop at department stores (28%), specialty stores like florists or jewelers (26%) and small businesses (23%).

The 2021 survey of 7,818 U.S. adults 18 and older was conducted April 1-9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1% points.

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