Mother's Day spending to slip - Survey

Consumers will spend less to mark the occasion this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

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By Catherine Clifford, staff writer

The amount buyers are expected to spend for Mother's Day this year has decreased, for the first time since the National Retail Federation has been conducting the study.
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NEW YORK ( -- Remember, mom, it's the thought that counts.

Consumers facing economic headwinds like higher gas prices will spend less to celebrate Mother's Day this year - an average of $138.63 compared to $139.14 last year, the National Retail Federation reported on Tuesday.

Total spending on Mother's Day is expected to be $15.8 billion, the group said. Last year, that figure was $15.7 billion.

"Consumers will be cutting back on larger items for Mom and investing in smaller more meaningful items or one large gift," says Kathy Grannis, spokeswoman for NRF.

An NRF survey found that 84% of consumers will recognize Mother's Day by purchasing jewelry, meals, books, CD's, gift certificates, house wares, gardening tools, cards and flowers.

NRF started polling consumers about Mother's Day in 2003. This year marks the first time that average consumer spending has decreased. In 2003, consumers spent an average of $97.37 on Mother's Day.

The study was conducted by BIGresearch for NRF and polled 8,180 consumers from April 1-8.

While overall spending will decline, it will rise in some areas, according to NRF. For instance, consumers are expecting to spend less on flowers, clothing and personal services like a day at the spa. But they will spend more on jewelry and consumer electronics in 2008 compared to 2007.

"Consumers are spending their discretionary money on one nice item," says Grannis.

Mother's Day ranks third behind the winter holidays and Valentine's Day in terms of total dollars spent by consumers, according to the NRF. To top of page

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