Why American Retailers Love Mother's Day Almost As Much As Moms

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On Sunday, May 13, most Americans will celebrate the extraordinary woman in their lives — Mom — with a perfect outing and a gift or two. While mothers certainly look forward to the annual pampering, retailers anticipate the holiday even more. That's because the money spent on meals, cards, flowers, jewelry, and other presents adds up to billions of dollars, making Mother's Day the third largest retail holiday in the U.S., behind only the winter holidays and back-to-school season. Even better? The spending keeps increasing year after year.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics estimate that the 86% of Americans celebrating the holiday in 2018 will fork out an astounding $23.1 billion, or an average of $180 per person, to appreciate their mothers. The expected spending is among the highest since the survey began 15 years ago and is second only to the record $23.6 billion consumers expended in 2017.

"This year's Mother's Day forecast is one of the strongest we've ever seen," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "With spring in full bloom, Americans are looking forward to splurging on their mothers, and retailers are prepared to offer a variety of options that will allow consumers to find the perfect gift for the occasion."

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About $4.6 billion will be spent on jewelry and about $4.4 billion on brunch of dinner. An impressive $2.6 billion will go towards buying flowers, and another $2.5 billion will be spent on gift cards. Other purchases include greeting cards ($2.5 billion), clothing ($2.1 billion), consumer electronics ($2.1 billion), and personal services such as a spa day ($1.8 billion). Housewares, gardening tools, books, and music round up the list with $1.5 billion.

Though motherhood has been celebrated across the world in some form for centuries, the official U.S. holiday is primarily due to the hard work of Ann Jarvis. The Philadelphia teacher came up with the idea in 1905 to honor the sacrifices moms make for their families. The inaugural celebration, held in 1908 at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia, was such a success that Jarvis became determined to see the holiday added to the national calendar.

To accomplish her goal, the activist began a nationwide writing campaign to newspapers and lawmakers about the importance of a special day to honor mothers. While many states, towns, and churches had adopted the holiday by 1912, it took another two years before President Woodrow Wilson officially designated the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.

However, Jarvis's vision of the celebration, which involved wearing a white carnation and visiting one's mother or attending a church service, never fully materialized. Once the holiday became official, it was not long before retailers seized the opportunity to market their wares. Thoroughly disillusioned, she spent years speaking out and even filing lawsuits against the "profiteers." By the time she died in 1948, Jarvis had disowned the holiday she had fought so hard to get.

While Mother's Day has since become increasingly commercial, most moms would choose to spend quality time with their families and a break from daily chores over expensive store-bought purchases. So on May 13, do something thoughtful like making breakfast or doing laundry, and more importantly, set aside your devices and give your mom the undivided attention she deserves!

Happy Mother's Day!


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  • horse123456
    horse123456over 2 years
    On mothers day I make her awesome crafts and I clean the house
    • wolf-angle
      wolf-angleabout 3 years
      She's sweet but don't make her mad
      • schulire000
        schulire000over 4 years
        I absolutley love my mom so much i would never leave her with someone else she will always be by my side
        • Anisshaover 4 years
          I like Easter hunts because you can get Easter card and candy bars that why was like Easter the end.
          • myaover 4 years
            I love mom more than mothers day.💖
            • hiover 4 years
              i wach this like 49 times
              • Hi almost 5 years
                I love my mom more than mother’s day my mom means the world to me
                • chloe88
                  chloe88almost 5 years
                  I love my mom so much I thought this story was so cute and loving to their moms
                  • shootingstars
                    shootingstarsabout 5 years
                    This video is so cute!
                  • Londonabout 5 years
                    so cuteee