Americans Navigate Love Amid Economic Fluctuations; Mother's Day Spending Surpasses Valentine's Day By $7.5 Billion

Economic fluctuations have profoundly impacted American consumer habits in recent years, particularly during hallmark holidays like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

Despite these economic headwinds, Mother’s Day spending surpasses Valentine’s Day, highlighting a shift in consumer priorities and financial resilience.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), this year’s Mother’s Day spending was projected at $33.5 billion, with consumers spending an average of $254 each. While this figure represents a slight decline from last year’s record high of $35 billion, it significantly surpasses the $26 billion spent for Valentine’s Day.

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"Mother's Day is a time to celebrate the women who play a meaningful role in our lives," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "Retailers know the significant importance of this day and are ready to help their customers with a wide selection of meaningful gifts for loved ones to show their appreciation."

Consumers directed substantial amounts towards traditional gifts, such as jewelry ($7 billion), special outings like dinner or brunch ($5.9 billion), and electronics ($3.5 billion). In contrast, Valentine's Day saw lower participation, with only 53% of consumers celebrating, significantly less than the 85% participating in Mother's Day festivities.

"With consumers prioritizing their spouse or significant other this year, retailers expect to see a shift in spending for certain gifting categories," said Shay.

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Increased financial pressures have led households to adopt a more selective approach to holiday spending. Additionally, the growing emphasis on family-oriented celebrations such as Mother’s Day reflects a cultural pivot towards familial appreciation over romantic expressions, which are struggling. 

This shift is evidenced by the downturn in spending and engagement with dating platforms such as those operated by Match Group MTCH, the parent company of Tinder, Hinge and OKCupid, where there has been a significant decline in app downloads and monthly active users.

Match Group’s recent financial performance reflects this trend. Second-quarter revenue is expected to fall below analyst estimates, and shares dropped by more than 4% in aftermarket trading on May 7.

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