Home World Business Australia tipped to spend $2 billion on Mother’s Day

Australia tipped to spend $2 billion on Mother’s Day



Sydneysiders will spend an average $55 a head dining out to celebrate Mother’s Day today, marking the second-biggest day of the year for the restaurant industry.

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Big data coming to Sydney restaurants

Booking reservation system Dimmi and point of sale supplier ImPOS have integrated their systems for the first time to allow restaurants to build detailed customer profile and enhance the dining experience.

Sydney city, Darling Harbour and Manly will be the top dining suburbs for Sydney families, followed by Surry Hills, Mosman, Parramatta, Castle HIll, Bondi Beach, Woolloomooloo and Bondi.

Around Australia families will spend just over $2 billion celebrating mothers, dishing out about $200 million on flowers, based on 2016 figures from the Australian Retailers Association.

A Mother's Day advertisment from 1961 shows an ironing table, which in today's dollars would be worth around $417. A Mother’s Day advertisment from 1961 shows an ironing table, which in today’s dollars would be worth around $417. Photo: SMH Archive

As a little girl, Portia Sunde would busy herself making her mum breakfast in bed when Mother’s Day rolled around, mirroring the kids she saw on television commercials “carrying a tray, with fresh orange juice”.

Now 22, Ms Sunde feels it makes more sense “logistically” for herself, her 30-year-old brother, her mother and father to venture out for breakfast, rather than “mum eating alone in bed, while we all sit and watch her”.

Today Ms Sunde will start the day with an early morning run to buy flowers, followed by a walk with her mother Christine, then breakfast at a local cafe, and later a formal lunch.

This year she spent $100 on a gift – a facial, $50 on flowers and shares a lunch bill of around $150 with her brother.

Mother's Day retail advertising has come a long way since 1961 Mother’s Day retail advertising has come a long way since 1961 Photo: SMH Archive

“I’m not so conscious about spending a certain amount, and my mum definitely doesn’t put on any pressure to buy her things … if I made her something she would love that too,” Ms Sunde said, adding, “but you know if you don’t get her anything, you’ll be in trouble.”

Mother’s Day gift spending today is a far cry from that of the 1960s, as evidenced in retail advertisements run in The Sydney Morning Herald.

“Give mother a labour-saving Frazer de-luxe ironing table,” reads one advertisement for McDowells in 1961.

“Buy now … and cheer her ironing hours with an easy-on-the-back Frazer!” it continues, beneath the headline price of £14’19’6, which today equates to around $417.

Panel showing what we spend money on on Mother’s Day

According to restaurant booking website Dimmi lunch remains the meal of choice for Mother’s Day celebrations, with 47 per cent of diners opting for a middle of the day meal, with dinner not far behind (39 per cent), based on 2016 figures.

After Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day is the second-biggest dining day of the year for the restaurant industry, which records a 70 per cent increase in bookings, compared to a normal Sunday. 

On the Dimmi booking site, modern Australian is the top cuisine of choice, followed by Italian, Indian, Japanese and Greek.

Executive director of the Australian Retailers Association Russell Zimmerman said spending would likely centre on “florists, fashion retailers, jewellery stores, confectionery merchants, restaurants, cafes, online gifts and experience retailers”.

“As consumer values continue to evolve, we will see shoppers increasingly opt for non-traditional gifts and packages to spoil their mums this Mother’s Day,” Mr Zimmerman said, adding that retail figures pointed to an increase in purchases of experiences (such as massages, food and wine tours or day cruises) over tangible goods.

The association expects a boost in consumer confidence, following the announcement of the federal budget and mediocre retail trade figures in March.


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