If you find yourself overspending on mom this year for Mother's Day, you might want to blame it on the weather. The recent nationwide chill followed by a warmup this week motivates the country to buy.
"When you have periods where it's colder than normal, especially in the spring and the fall where the impact is biggest, you'll see this marked decrease or slowdown in people spending or spending differently," Paul Walsh, meteorologist and CEO of forecast firm Meteomatics North America, told FOX Weather. "But as soon as you have the kind of weather like we're going to be expecting this week, it basically reverses. And we have that sort of a cabin fever outbreak."
And this "cabin fever" and "pent-up demand" for spending comes just in time for Mother's Day. A survey by the National Retail Foundation found that Americans plan to spend a record $35.7 billion this year, almost $4 billion more than the previous record set in 2022.
It's not just the weather that triggers spending; the forecast can set brains up to spend. The urge comes after watching the weather, Walsh said.
"What's happening is actually is the weather forecast is having an increasingly bigger impact on consumers. So think about the folks that are watching Fox Weather or using the Fox Weather app… We're using it to plan our upcoming week," Walsh explained. "That forecast that is on our phones is driving a lot of this activity."
The weather can even impact what gift we buy for mom, he said. If the weather is cold and rainy, consumers tend to choose more indoor and wintery items. Warm weather tends to inspire purchases for outdoor use and activities.
The smart shopper will take advantage of the weather pattern change from cold to warm. The previous week, cooler than normal temperatures slowed demand forcing retailers to discount items to move inventory, Walsh said. Bargain-hunting shoppers should take the non-intuitive shopping approach and look for the cool weather gifts on sale.
About 84% of Americans plan to celebrate Mother's Day this year, according to the NRF. Each anticipates spending an average of $247.02 a person, up about $30 from last year's spending record.
The NRF says that the top spenders range from age 35 to 44. Each one told survey takers that they plan to spend an average of $382.26 on Mother's Day.
Even in colder than normal April, when Prosper Insights and Analytics conducted the study for the NRF, consumers planned to go out and shop in person. That bucks the recent online trend.
"While most consumers shopped online last year for the perfect Mother’s Day gift, we are seeing just as many people turn to department stores as a shopping destination this year," Prosper Insights and Analytics Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said in a statement. "Gifts of experience continue to grow in popularity, with nearly one-third of those celebrating Mother’s Day planning to give a gift of experience."
NRF's 2023 Mother's Day Spending survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.
According to shopping habits guided by weather, consumers will be in stores shopping, rather than online, this week due to the warm weather.
FOX Weather makes it easy to keep track of Mother's Day weather in the FOX Weather App. You can set up future events in the "plan" tab up to a year in advance. FOX Weather updates the forecast several times daily.