Over 21 billion dollars was spent by Americans on Mother’s Day last year, according to the National Retail Federation, a hefty (and inexplicable) increase over the 15.7 billion spent in 2012.  How will you get your share of this growing market? 

While 33% of the spending was in department stores, 23% was in local shops and small businesses. Mother’s Day is a perfect opportunity to tie into the buy local message.  Many mothers would appreciate the fact that someone was thoughtful enough to purchase their gift from a locally owned business, increasing its “feel good” quotient.

It helps to carry Mother’s Day cards in addition to gift items, and to offer gift wrapping. These extra services make shopping easier and more enjoyable.  And although a large percentage of the gifts for this holiday are flowers or chocolate, gift certificates are also a popular choice. Is there something you can do to make your gift certificates particularly attractive, such as offering a free card with each one?

This may be your chance to bring the elusive millennial shopper into your store, since the same study shows that 25-34 year olds spend the most on gifts for Mom.  You may need to try a new angle to reach this demographic, perhaps a promoted post on Facebook with a young target market.

Don’t forget that not all purchases are made by sons or daughters buying something for their mother. One study (by FTD Florists) shows that 47% of all mothers feel that their husband should help in buying them a gift.  What can you do to make men welcome in your store, and to help them with their gift shopping?

It turns out that 10% of the gifts given on Mother’s Day are to daughters, followed by sisters, grandmothers and friends.  Having greeting cards on hand general enough to cover these other relationships would be a good idea. 

You are welcome to use the Shop Local graphic that comes with today’s blog in your social media.  Let’s do what we can to increase the percentage of gifts bought for Mother’s Day at independent retailers. 

Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder 

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