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Sorry, Mum — Mother’s Day spending will be a little tight this year


Last year’s Mother’s Day gifts of showy bling and fancy perfume will likely give way to chocolates and bouquets. It’s not that we love you any less, Mum. It’s the economy, y’know.

Last year saw a post-global-meltdown splurge on jewellery and blossoms for many Australian moms, according to business information analyst IBISWorld. This year, the bloom is off the rose; Mother’s Day spending is expected to increase just 1.2% from 2010, to a total of $1.31 billion.

“The flat retail sales seen since the start of the year are likely to continue, with discretionary spending levels still very weak and higher interest rates a very real possibility,” IBISWorld General Manager Robert Bryant said. “As a result, 2011 probably won’t be a Mother’s Day to remember in the gift stakes.”

Last year’s relative splurging was inspired by rising confidence in the recovering ec0nomy. This year, it’s back to value-driven spending. Bryant said many people might take advantage of deep-discount operators like Spreets and Cudo for things such as spa therapies.

IBISWorld’s forecast sees an increase in spending on traditional Mother’s Day items such as chocolates and flowers (8.1% and 2.4%, respectively), while spending on jewellery will slump by 4.1% and perfumes and cosmetics will slip by 8.2%.

It’s a year for gift cards — the forecast is for an 10.2% jump in that category, especially with online vouchers.

In the end, cafes and restaurants are always the biggest winners on Mother’s Day.  Eating out will once again account for the highest proportion of Mother’s Day spending this year – around 21% of total outlay. Enjoy the day off, Mum.

Image by Kaz Andrew