shutterstock_179494652 mother's day

Clothing is expected to be the gift of choice this year for Mother’s Day on May 8, according to the annual Brand Keys Mother’s Day Survey.

Some 80 percent of respondents said they plan to buy clothing, while 59 percent will buy jewelry, according to the survey. Only 12 percent indicated they would be buying a tech-related gift.

“Cards, meals and flowers have become ‘price of entry’ for the holiday. But when it comes to more substantial gifts, clothing showed the greatest change from last year — up 10 percent,” said Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys. Jewelry was up by 7 percent, and spending on tech-related gifts was virtually unchanged.

Celebrants plan to spend on average $205 this year, a six percent increase over 2015. Following a long-standing tradition, men intend to spend more than women. Men plan to spend on average $228, while women expect to spend $182.

Some 6,133 men and women, aged 18 through 65 from nine U.S. Census regions were asked if and how they planned to celebrate Mother’s Day, with most consumers indicating multiple gift purchases. Some 88 percent of consumers said they plan to celebrate Mother’s Day.

“The holiday celebrant range includes virtually everyone: moms, wives, step-moms, female relatives and friends, divorced and single-parent households. It crosses cultural, ethnic and religious boundaries, making it a real opportunity for retailers — an occasion nearly everyone celebrates,” said Passikoff.

In terms of what they plan to purchase, the top categories are: cards, 95 percent (even to last year); brunch/lunch/dinner, 90 percent (up 2 percent); flowers, 85 percent (down 1 percent); clothing, 80 (up 10 percent); jewelry, 59 percent (up 7 percent); spa services, 52 percent (up 2 percent); gift cards, 50 percent (down 2 percent); books, 19 percent (even to last year); housewares/gardening tools, 16 percent, (up 1 percent); candy, 12 percent (down 3 percent), and electronics/smartphones, 12 percent (up 1 percent).

As far as where they plan to shop, the biggest percentage, 55 percent, said discount stores (unchanged from a year ago), followed by specialty stores, 50 percent (unchanged from a year ago), department stores, 44 percent (off 6 percent), online stores, 30 percent (unchanged from a year ago) and catalogue, 2 percent (off 4 percent).

“Preferences for shopping venues reflect this year’s preference for more traditional gifts,” said Passikoff. He noted that discount stores and specialty stores are at the top of consumers’ lists because shoppers consider them ideal venues for apparel and jewelry.

He also noted that more consumers intend to “connect” with their mothers through in-person visits “likely due to lower costs of gas and air fares.” Phone/mobile came in at 65 percent (unchanged from a year ago); personal visits, 22 percent (up 7 percent); online, 11 percent (up 1 percent), and cards, 10 percent (unchanged from a year ago).

Passikoff also noted “like many major gift-giving holidays, the majority of consumers — 65 percent — indicated they are waiting to make their purchases until the deals shake out toward end of April and beginning of May.”