Total gift spend this year could reach nearly $1m

AUSTRALIANS are set to spend $995 million on Mother’s Day (Sunday, 12 May) this year – up $70 million, or 7.5 per cent from 2023 – with flowers, alcohol or an experience topping the gifts for mothers and others, according to research from the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) in collaboration with Roy Morgan.

Despite the increased spend, 400,000 fewer people are set to buy Mother’s Day gifts this year – highlighting the impact of the cost-of-living crunch.
The higher overall spend is attributable to a higher spend per person of $102 (up from $92 in 2023), reflecting inflationary driven price increases and indicating those who are less affected by cost-of-living pressures are spending more.
The most popular gifts are tipped to be: Flowers, mentioned by 41 per cent of respondents (up from 27 per cent in 2023); alcohol/food, mentioned by 17 per cent of respondents (down from 29 per cent in 2023); an experience (trip away, dinner out), mentioned by 16 per cent of respondents (up from 5 [er cent in 2023); and clothing/shoes/sleepwear, mentioned by 10 per cent of respondents (broadly the same as 2023).
Continuing the trend in recent years, about a fifth (19 per cent) of people who purchase a present will be gifting to somebody other than their birth mother. This includes their partner, friend, mother-in-law, grandmother, sister and daughter.
About 20 per cent of Australians will celebrate the occasion with a meal at a cafe or restaurant, while 35 per cent percent of Aussies will spoil mum with a feast at home.
ARA CEO Paul Zahra said retailer promotions had already begun, with florists set to be the biggest beneficiaries.
“With Mother’s Day close, most Australians are ready to generously spend to show appreciation for their mothers, despite ongoing financial pressures,” he said.
“While the overall spend is higher this year, less Australians will be buying gifts – which shows us how cost-of-living pressures and high interest rates are disproportionately affecting families.
“With flowers rising to the top of the gift list this year, it’s clear that celebrations will have a soft and sentimental theme, after what has been a tough year for many households.
“We urge shoppers to avoid leaving their purchases until the last minute.”