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Mother's Day shopping is often last minute

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Robin Merriman finished her Mother’s Day shopping this year with days to spare.

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Macie and Mike Brittingham, of Augusta, smell fragrant "chill pills," also known as "bath bombs," as they look for Mother's Day gifts for their mothers at The Swank Co.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Macie and Mike Brittingham, of Augusta, smell fragrant "chill pills," also known as "bath bombs," as they look for Mother's Day gifts for their mothers at The Swank Co.

“I would prefer to get it done ahead of time, but sometimes it comes down to the last minute,” said Merriman, who made final Mother’s Day purchases for her mother and 95-year-old grandmother Wednesday during a shopping trip to Surrey Center.

Many local retailers agree that shoppers typically follow a later, rather than sooner, approach to Mother’s Day.

“Mother’s Day is a last-minute purchase holiday, particularly (for) men,” said Sloane Wiggins, a co-owner and general manager of Cudos! Flowers and Gifts.

Flowers and jewelry remain the top purchases. Pandora jewelry is the popular item this year, Wiggins said.

She said the week leading up to Mother’s Day is when the store stays the busiest.

Shoppers are expected to spend about $20 billion on Mother’s Day gifts this year, spending an average of $169, up $16 billion from 2012, according to a National Retail Federation survey.

“Budgetary constraints will keep many families on the lookout for the perfect group gift,” said Pam Goodfellow, the director of BIGinsight, which conducted the survey for the National Retail Federation.

The survey showed that many consumers will continue to buy traditional gifts such as flowers, but that more shoppers will splurge this year on expensive presents such as jewelry and computer tablets than in yearsn past.

Amy Epps, the owner of The Swank Co. in Surrey Center, said that she has noticed people shopping earlier this year but that the store sees its most Mother’s Day business the Friday and Saturday.

As in years past, Epps said spa-related products are the most popular.

“We try to think about what our customers would want for Mother’s Day so we go to market and we have that in mind,” she said.

May is one of the most lucrative months at the store, with customers shopping for Mother’s Day, graduations and end-of-the-term teacher gifts, Epps said.

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