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Citi Retail Services Survey: Mother’s Day Consumer Trends

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In a recent survey, Citi Retail Services found that consumers’ expected spending for Mother’s Day this year varies by generation, but the majority plan to spend under $100. Baby Boomers spend the least on Mother’s Day, while Generation X is the generation most likely to spend over $100.

Among consumers who plan to purchase a Mother’s Day gift or gifts, 39% are going to shop in a store, 21% will shop online, and a few (16%) will shop both in a store and online. And 24% were unsure of where they were going to shop, potentially signifying a deeper level of thought about the holiday and a consumer desire for innovative ideas. 

Greeting cards are the most popular Mother’s Day purchase, followed by flowers and a meal.

Baby Boomers are more likely than Gen X and Millennials to buy a Mother’s Day greeting card, and consumers with children in their household are more likely to buy a card than those without.

Most Popular Gifts:


·        A greeting card (66%)

·        Flowers (35%)

·        A meal out at a restaurant (20%)

·        Clothing (19%)

·        Home-cooked meal (15%)

·        An experience (e.g., concert tickets, massage, cooking class) (14%)

·        A personalized gift (i.e. engraved frame, etc.) (11%)

·        Jewelry (10%)

·        Beauty products (8%)

·        Other (13%)

Tradition and Decision Making

Most consumers plan to celebrate Mother’s Day the same way they did last year, and more than a third (35%) say they have a Mother’s Day “tradition.”

When it comes to how to celebrate and what to buy, Millennials (54%) are most likely to seek advice, followed by Generation X (51%) and Baby Boomers (39%) coming in at a distant third. For those seeking advice, the most popular choices amongst all demographics were family, friends and the retailer/brand websites.

1 in 3 consumers are early planners and will begin preparing for Mother’s Day at least 2-3 weeks in advance. Meanwhile, 42% of shoppers will wait until less than a week before to begin planning.  

Consumer Views Towards Mother’s Day Across Generations

Baby Boomers are less likely to celebrate Mother’s Day, and are more likely than other generations to feel mixed emotions about the day as many have lost their mothers. In fact, 48% of baby boomers acknowledge feeling mixed emotions when thinking about the holiday. They also spend less money on Mother’s Day gifts and are less likely to turn to others for advice when shopping.

Overall, 60% of consumers say Mother’s Day is an important holiday for them to celebrate.

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