Long Island business owners and retailers predict a strong Mother’s Day spending season, one of the busiest holidays of the year, as consumers look to splurge on their mothers with flowers, meals and special outings on Sunday.
Mother’s Day sales nationally are expected to reach $21.4 billion this year, up slightly from $21.2 billion last year, according to a National Retail Federation survey, with the average holiday expenditure at $172.22 per person, compared with $172.63 last year.
“It is a very important holiday because of the fact that everybody wants to celebrate their mom or be spoiled for being a mom,” said Danielle Conte, a retail consultant and founder of the shopping blog YoutailRetail.com in Centerport.
Top spending categories include: $4.2 billion expected to go for jewelry, $4.1 billion on special outings such as dinner or brunch, $2.4 billion on flowers, $2.2 billion on gift cards, $1.9 billion on apparel, and $1.6 billion on the growing category of gifts of personal services such as spa treatments. Greeting cards, which are the most commonly purchased gift, account for $792 million of the projected spending, according to the federation.
Among smartphone users, 29.6 percent will research gift ideas on their phones, while 15.5 percent will use their phones to make a purchase, according to the federation.
“It is really important for retailers to honor the information,” said Conte, adding retailers need to make sure their websites are optimized for smartphone shoppers, and that they include store hours and directions.
Mother’s Day is the No. 1 holiday for flower sales at Carle Place-based online florist and gift company 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. The holiday also coincides with Nurses Week and Teachers Week, meaning the company’s various brands, including Cheryl’s and Harry & David, will be taking a lot of orders for flowers, gourmet foods and gift baskets.
“We expect a very busy season,” 1-800-Flowers president Chris McCann said. “One thing we love about Mother’s Day is that there are so many mothers in the world that deserve recognition. They are normally buying flowers for several mothers in their life.”
Mother’s Day is the second busiest holiday for Betsy Maniotis, owner of Betsy’s Baskets, based in East Northport. She ships gift baskets, bears, decorations and floral arrangements nationally and delivers them locally on Long Island. Her gift baskets run $40 and up.
“For Mother’s Day I have different kind of work,” said Maniotis, who has been in business for 16 years and plans to take orders up to Saturday. “People don’t want all candy or all flowers. I do personal baskets gearing to the person’s personal taste. For example, if she likes gardening, I would include chocolates that look like flowers.”
For those looking to eat out with their mom, Jeff Bacchas, owner of Caribbean restaurant Spices Negril in Baldwin, will host a Mother’s Day brunch for $25 a person, serving items like pancakes and eggs, and stew chicken, along with a free mimosa. Dinner will feature music and food staples like jerk chicken, creamy rasta pasta, and rice and peas for $32 a person. He is accepting reservations and walk-ins.
“Mother’s Day as a business is a very busy day because a lot people come out for brunch and dinner to treat their moms,” said Bacchas, whose restaurant has been open for four years. “I have a mom too, so it is great to celebrate our moms.”