Mother's Day Means Big Business for Small Companies

Two-thirds of small-business owners were expecting Mother’s Day to provide a big boost to the bottom line, according to a new survey.

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Of nearly 500 respondents, 66 percent had high hopes for the holiday, which fell on May 14 this year, 76 percent described it as an important part of their annual revenue, according to the survey by Constant Contact, an e-mail marketing service based in Waltham, Mass.

Companies in the hospitality industry expected the strongest sales, followed by consumer services such as jewelers and spas, and retail stores.

“For a large group of small businesses, holiday seasons can really make or break their year,” said Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact. A separate survey for the firm found that Mother’s Day outsells Valentine’s Day, Easter, Father’s Day, and Halloween.

Shoppers were also planning to spend more on Mom this year — $122.16, up $7.53 from 2005, according to the National Retail Federation, a Washington-based trade group.

Half of all respondents polled by Constant Contact considered flowers to be the most popular Mother’s Day gift, 30 percent voted for a spa or salon appointment or gift certificate.

“So far this month, we’ve brought in $4,100 in gift cards for Mother’s Day,” said Sandra Tanek, owner of Body & Soul Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz. Tanek expected to sell close to $9,000 in gift cards — $6,500 more than the total for gift cards sold in the month of April.

Local Charm, a New Orleans-based jewelry studio with an outlet in Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace, specializes in handcrafted jewelry, and saw a lot of nearby workers stop in for last-minute gifts. “Because we are close to the Financial District, a lot of business people have been coming in on their lunch break and after work to buy Mother’s Day gifts this week,” manager Amy Johnson said.

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