St. Croix Valley Moms


The age old question is here. What to get mom for Mother’s Day? Regardless of the monetary value, moms will likely say, “It’s the thought that counts.”

And it does count, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the world’s largest retail trade association. Along with its advocacy for retail, which NRF calls the industry that powers the economy, it forecasts spending habits on eventful days like back-to-school shopping, Black Friday, Valentine’s Day, and yes, Mother’s Day.

Here’s NRF’s jaw dropping estimate – – 2022 Mother’s Day spending in the U.S. is expected to total $31.7 billion (with a “b”). That’s up $3.6 billion from last year’s record amount. For historical purposes, $23.1 billion was spent as recent as 2018, representing an upward hockey stick trend according to professional and wannabe economists.

Hold on, the spending layers are about to be peeled back. Sons and daughters and the young and old plan to spend $25 more on Mother’s Day 2022 than last year, bringing the per person estimate to just over $245. Spendthrifts in 2018 only racked up $180 in per person spending.

NRF says jewelry and special outings like brunch or dinner are leading 2022’s spending increases. Jewelry purchases this year may reach $7 billion dollars. NRF reminds us that jewelry is timeless, and purchases in this category rose from 34 percent of those making purchases in 2021 to 41 percent forecasted this year. Spending for special outings could reach $5.3 billion. The nearly 28 percent increase from last year perhaps signals a post-pandemic return to restaurants and cafes for those seeking more quality time with moms.

Greeting cards are not the most expensive purchase. Moms like the ones that are handmade, but NRF predicts 75 percent of all shoppers will spend just over one billion dollars on cards.

What about the road for consumers that is less traveled? Try the gift of experience. NRF says this could mean a gift that’s unique or different, or finding one that creates a special memory. Does that mean a Grateful Dead concert? Live theater? Paddlewheel excursion? Amateur or professional sports? Sculpture garden? Unique. Special Memories. You get the picture.

The gifting of a product subscription service is a new and growing category for Mother’s Day. It’s a way to extend gifting beyond a special day. NRF cited Birchbox or Stitch Fix as examples. It’s not a crime to look them up. Birchbox is a monthly beauty box and makeup kit service. Stitch Fix is a personalized way to shop for clothing based on size, budget and style. There’s a good bet Stitch Fix relies on algorithms and data science, and, it’s a publicly traded company.

Wisconsin’s St. Croix Valley residents are bound to make Mother’s Day 2022 a very special event. There are plenty of shops along main streets to choose gifts. Restaurants, cafes, and innkeepers stand ready. Don’t forget the walking and cycling paths. And ice cream shops. And garden centers. And, well, you get the picture. “It’s the thought that counts.”