Survey: Jewelry Tops All Mother's Day Gift Categories; Spending Climbs to $5.27B

Lucky moms will be showered with jewelry gifts at an unprecedented level this Sunday, Mother's Day. Despite uncertain times, spending on jewelry items is expected to reach $5.27 billion, making it the highest-volume gift-giving category by far, according to an annual Mother's Day survey released by the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Jewelry spending is up from $5.19 billion in 2019, a modest increase of 1.5%. Special Outings, by comparison, will be down nearly 12% to $4.07 billion.

For the past 11 years, jewelry and special outings have been the top two categories in terms of Mother's Day dollars spent, with jewelry beating out special outings for six years in a row.

Overall Mother’s Day spending in 2020 is predicted to hit a record $26.7 billion, an increase of 7.2% from the $24.9 billion tallied in 2019. The 2020 total reflects a near doubling of the $14.1 billion that was spent for moms in 2009.

Exactly 34% of respondents said they will be buying jewelry for their moms this year, with the average spending per person pegged at $40.38.

While the portion of people celebrating Mother’s Day with a gift in 2020 remains the same at 86%, this year’s gift-givers will be spending more.

The average Mother’s Day outlay is expected to be a record $204.74, up from $196.47 in 2019. Consumers ages 35-44 are likely to spend the most ($296, up from $248), and men are likely to spend more than women ($266 compared with $146).

According to NRF’s Mother’s Day survey, $2.93 billion will be spent on electronics (to be gifted by 19%) and $2.87 billion will be spent on gift cards (49%). Other go-to items include flowers ($2.56 billion, 64%), clothing ($2.56 billion, 39%), personal service ($2.1 billion, 26%), housewares/gardening tools ($1.51 billion, 25%), greeting cards ($1.0 billion, 74%) and books/CDs ($0.71 billion, 24%).

NRF’s survey was conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics and reflects the anticipated purchasing patterns of 8,294 adult consumers. The survey was conducted April 1-6, 2020, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

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