Republicans vs. Democrats—who will spend more on Mother’s Day?

by | May 9, 2018 | Public Relations

Mother’s Day anticipated spend may only be up by two percent year over year, but new research from consumer loyalty and emotional brand engagement Brand Keys reveals that Republicans intend to spend more on good ol’ Mom than other registered voters.

“Republicans may claim they are more fiscally conservative than Democrats when it comes to taxation and the national budget, but not, apparently, when it comes to spending on Mother’s Day,” said Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys, in a news release.

Politics significantly affects spending on Mom

Overall, celebrants intend to spend on average $224.00 this year, a two-percent increase over 2017 spending. Men, following a long-standing tradition, intend to spend more than women, reporting an anticipated average spend of $245. Women, an anticipated spend of $203.

As part of its annual Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, the firm asked 7,500 men and women, ages 18-65 from the nine U.S. Census regions, all registered Democrats, Independents, or Republicans, if—and how—they planned to celebrate Mother’s Day this year. Most consumers indicated multiple gift purchases. “But if you break out the average spend by political affiliation,” said Passikoff, “there are some significant differences.”

Republicans to spend 10 percent more than Democrats

Registered Republicans’ average Mother’s Day spend is anticipated to be $240, seven percent higher than the average national spend and 10 percent higher than Democrats. Registered Democrats’ average spend was $219, only $1 lower than the national average. Independents’ declared average spend is $213, five percent lower than the national average.

What consumers are buying Mom

“No matter how shoppers vote, nearly everyone celebrates Mother’s Day,” Passikoff added. “Over the past decade, Mother’s Day has encompassed a broader spectrum of relationships and to become a more collective celebration. The holiday celebrant range includes virtually everyone: moms, wives, step-moms, female relatives and friends, divorced, single-parent, same-sex and civil union households. It crosses cultural, ethnic, and religious bounds, making it a real opportunity for retailers—an occasion nearly everyone celebrates.”

What consumers anticipated buying this year was generally constant from 2017 (with percentages in parentheses indicating changes from 2017 with a margin of error of +2%).

2018 Gift Categories Percent Purchasing Change from 2017:

  • Cards/E-cards 97% (+2%)
  • Brunch/Lunch/Dinner 92% (+2%)
  • Flowers 89% (+3%)
  • Clothing 87% (- 2%)
  • Jewelry 60% (- 1%)
  • Spa Services 55% (+3%)
  • Gift Cards 60% (+5%)
  • Books 21% ( —- )
  • Housewares/Gardening Tools 22% (+ 2%)
  • Candy 10% (- 2%)
  • Electronics/ Smartphones 15% (+ 2%)

“Interestingly,” said Passikoff, “there were no differences politically where consumers were going to shop, or how consumers intended to connect with Mom.

Where consumers intend to shop

  • Specialty Stores 60% (+ 5%)
  • Discount Stores 55% ( — )
  • Department Stores 42% (+ 2%)
  • Online Stores 40% (+10%)
  • Catalog 2% ( — )

Like last year, more consumers intend to “connect” with Mom via in-person visits,” said Passikoff. “Phone calls and online chats remain unchanged, although it’s worth noting that given the ubiquity of smartphones and apps like FaceTime, Mother’s Day has become one the most popular holidays to place a call.”

  • Phone/mobile 65% ( — )
  • Personal Visits 27% (+5%)
  • Online 12% (+1%)
  • Cards 10% ( —)

A proverb says “a mother understands what a child does not say.” “That said, this year consumers seem prepared to articulate exactly what Mom means to them,” said Passikoff.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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