Mom: The $18.6-billion economic machine

Mother’s Day: $18.6 billion in spending
Packed roses await sale at the wholesale Southern California Flower Market Inc. during the busy Mother’s Day holiday purchasing week in Los Angeles.
(Patrick Fallon / Bloomberg)

Besides Christmas, there’s nothing quite like the Mother’s Day shopping scramble: $3.4 billion on brunch or dinner, $1.6 billion on clothing an accessories, $1.3 billion on getaways and pampering, all amounting to a big $18.6-billion thank you from children and spouses.

That’s about $152.52 for each of the 86.5% of Americans celebrating, up from $140.73 spent last year, according to the National Retail Federation. The spike in affection could be linked to better consumer confidence, which has been generally improving all spring. Or maybe the plethora of bargains and discounts available has buyers overlooking high gas prices in order to spoil mom.

Consider the $2.2 billion that’ll go toward flowers. Mother’s Day accounts for a full quarter of all holiday floral purchases, with more than one-third of adults buying blooms or other plants as gifts, according to the Society of American Florists. That’s more than even Valentine’s Day.

Competition from major retailers such as supermarkets and Target, which has caused the number of florists to dwindle, likely won’t stem the rush to snap up the (often marked-up) Mother’s Day blossoms.


While roughly 30% of Americans are still budget-conscious, shopping for moms in discount stores, one-third of people – the most in history – will grab a present at a department store.

Nearly two-thirds will go to a small business, where items are considered to be more unique and better made, according toFedEx Corp.

One-quarter of Americans go online as they shop, with many researching products, redeeming coupons and otherwise looking to save some money, according to the retail federation.

Men will spent $189.74 on average on their moms (and also for their wives, daughters, grandmothers, sisters, godmothers and friends), the federation says. Women will each shell out $117.42.



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