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    Be nice to your mum on Sunday

    Grandma playing with her dog at her house

    Mother’s Day means Easter and Spring are on the way! 

    Mother’s Day, which is always on a Sunday, is earlier this year than last, falling on March 10. That is because Mothering Sunday, as it is traditionally known, always occurs on the fourth Sunday of Lent, which in turn is always three Sundays before Easter Day. So, because Easter is a little earlier this year, so is Mother’s Day. 

    In fact, Mother’s Day is tied to Sunday in a way that has been forgotten. In medieval times, the “mother” referred to was originally the “mother” church, the one where you had been christened, in your home village. It was to there that a young person would return from wherever they had gone to work or been apprenticed (into a guild in a nearby town, for example, as was common practice) during Lent. 

    Returning meant visiting your family and of course your mother, and gathering a spray of spring flowers along the way as a gift to delight her with became a tradition – and the “mother” church slowly began to become associated with the natural mother of the home-coming pilgrim. 

    That is why there is, even today, a close association between Mother’s Day and Easter, forever tied together by history lost in time. 

    This year, UK shoppers are set to spend £1.7 billion on Mother’s Day, a 1.1 per cent increase on 2023, as over half of consumers intend to purchase an item to celebrate the occasion, with food gifts as top option.  

    Be nice to your mum on Sunday

    According to the UK Mother’s Day Intentions 2024 report from GlobalData, 41 per cent of consumers who intend to, or have already purchased, an item for Mother’s Day have or will spend up to £20 on gifts.  

    “Consumers still have tight budgets, and seeking out the lowest prices has become a norm for many,” said Joe Dawson, Analyst at GlobalData. “To capitalize on the high participation in the event, retailers must ensure that they are promoting the affordability of their ranges by clearly signposting Mother’s Day deals and discounts online and instore.” .  

    Dawson says the proportion of consumers intending to purchase gifts is higher for Mother’s Day than it was on Valentine’s Day, but will probably not be as high as the massive 65 per cent in 2023. 

    The overall fall in purchases, however, reflects a budget squeeze, dragging shoppers away from fancy restaurants and gift shops and towards local stores – so it could be a good thing for the c-channel if Mother’s Day is merchandised strikingly and attractively by indies: “Showcasing high quality products at affordable prices will be key to appealing to consumers looking to treat their loved ones at a lower cost and capturing greater spend closer to the date,” Dawson concludes. 

    Gifting 

    The nature of presents for Mum on Mother’s Day presents an opportunity for independent retailers. Unlike a birthday or Christmas, when a trip to a department store for a substantial purchase might be in order, Mother’s day retains the slightly more general idea of a celebration for “the” mother rather than “your” mother – so the nature of the occasion lends itself to observance of a communal celebration – best exemplified by a card, flowers, chocolates (rather than a new hairdryer, for example), and of course festive alcohol. 

    All these items can be stocked in advance by independent retailers with a very good chance of selling out as impulse and distress purchases immediately prior to Sunday – or often on the morning of the day itself – are dependable.

    Be nice to your mum on Sunday

    Flowers and cards are typical impulse buys for Mother’s Day where convenience stores can beat out the multiples, and indies and chocolates go together like a horse and carriage when it comes to buying something delicious and luxurious for Mum – whether it’s candy or that nice celebratory bottle of fizz. 

    As Asian Trader recently reported, when it comes to basket spend during spring occasions, 37 per cent will spend £20 and 35 per cent will spend £50 on Mother’s Day and Easter respectively. This increased spend from shoppers, showcases an opportunity for retailers to encourage trade-up with trusted, premium options such as the Ferrero Rocher and Thorntons boxed chocolate range. It also presents an opportunity to drive cross-category purchase across items like flowers and cards. 

    Susan Nash, Trade Communications Manager at Mondelēz International, advises that confectionery is a key part of Mother’s Day sales. “Retailers should stock up on seasonal favourites such as Cadbury Roses in-store to tap into the much-loved occasion,” says Susan. 

    Impulse buying accounts for 40 per cent of shoppers of Mother’s Day sales, so it’s important to plan ahead and make sure to create eye-catching displays in-store to drive shoppers’ attention. “As well as this,” says Susan, “buying a meal is one of the main shopper missions for Mother’s Day, so if space allows retailers should consider offering a Mother’s Day meal deal option to maximise sales,” she adds. 

    Leading confectionery wholesaler Hancocks has unveiled its extensive spring confectionery range.   

    With two seasonal events to cater to, Mother’s Day and Easter, spring confectionery plays a huge part in growing annual confectionery sales.   

    With that enormous 40 per cent of shoppers buying on impulse for Mother’s Day, Hancocks said retailers should be stocked up on bestsellers from all categories.   

    “Seasonal events remain a key way for retailers to boost confectionery sales and spring is the perfect time for it, as there’s three major occasions to take advantage of,” said Kathryn Hague, Hancocks’ head of marketing.   

    “We’re happy to offer retailers a wide range of seasonal confectionery products to help them maximise their sales during spring. We’re encouraging retailers to stock up early to ensure that they can cater to the demand.”  

    Carding 

    Be nice to your mum on Sunday

    We always say that a card rack – flat or rotary – is a great use of space in a store of limited size because cards are one of the ultimate impulse and distress purchase items, with great margins, and can be held on a sale-or-return basis. They increase the optionality of your store for customers in the same way that having a small sewing/repair/electrical section does – giving customers a convenient one-stop location for emergency items and notions in addition to the usual news, groceries and smokes/vapes. 

    Mother’s Day is one of those “compulsory” card occasions, and shoppers will thank you for solving their problem without making them go all the way into town. Riverside Greetings, a leading supplier of greeting card solutions, has developed RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology which will dramatically accelerate category growth in the convenience and forecourt sector. 

    The company has created an automated inventory and category management system that marries AI with RFID technology to analyse and increase the greeting card category performance, whilst significantly improving the productivity and effectiveness of its merchandising service. 

    Through the use of the technology, storeowners will be able to complete a full stock count of hundreds of cards by design in less than two minutes, with 100 per cent accuracy versus the current manual counting system which can take 30 to 45 minutes. 

    Because optimal card display is vital – from valentines to Mother’s Day displays, coming soon after Christmas, and so on – the nimbleness of re-stock and change of facing will massively help sales, and the display itself is a great memory jog that can lead to allied sales for the celebration. Spot the display and pick up a card for Mum, and then – why not? – prosecco and a bunch of red roses. 

    Riverside says that the improved granularity of the RFID data will enable each store’s range to be automatically analysed and improved by the merchandiser. Aggregated sales data by design will show trends and patterns and create best practice ranges automatically. 

    Riverside Greetings Managing Director, Andrew Glen, estimates that this new approach will grow sales with existing customers by more than 20 per cent whilst freeing up time.  

    “Many card suppliers have chosen not to invest in the independent convenience sector whilst favouring multiple grocers and online sales,” he says. “We are proven specialists in the convenience and forecourt market and believe that there is a significant sales and profit opportunity when a shopper centric approach is taken to the greeting cards category.  

    “That’s why we have invested in developing this revolutionary new technology which is going to provide us with real-time information and transform the overall category performance.”  

    Riverside’s operational model provides consignment stock for retailers who then only pay for what they sell, which means that they don’t have cash tied up in stock. To minimise the burden on retailers, Riverside uses only three barcodes for their entire card range, which means that designs can be added to or removed from ranges with no changes to EPOS systems. 

    Drinking 

    A little of what you fancy does you good, and Mother’s Day is a great excuse to pop a bottle of something bubble-icious or pour out an exotic treat at your get-together. 

    Jo Taylorson, head of marketing and product management at Kingsland Drinks, says that Mother’s Day presents retailers with a great opportunity to capitalise on by stocking up on a selection of alcoholic drinks. The key is for store managers to ensure they’re offering a range of drinks that provide breadth and depth of choice.   

    Some shoppers will be looking to stock up on a handful of bottles, or larger formats, if they’re hosting and dining in for the occasion, whereas those looking for gifts will either be picking up a bottle of their loved one’s usual tipple or looking to trade up to something more premium. Local retailers offer the perfect place to pick up impulse purchases and last-minute gifts.  

    Be nice to your mum on Sunday

    Bag-in-box (BiB) wines are a popular choice for those hosting due to the longer shelf-life they offer by keeping wine fresh for up to six weeks, as well as its convenience and value. Australian wine brand, Andrew Peace, recently introduced 1.5 litre BiBs of its existing White Label Shiraz and Chardonnay, as well as 2.25 litre BiBs of a new Black Label Shiraz and Chardonnay (SRPs start at £12 for the 1.5L and at £17 for the 2.25L). In addition, following continued success for its Spanish wine brand, Campaneo, Kingsland now offers BiB formats of Tempranillo and Garnacha reds alongside a new-to-market Sauvignon Blanc in 2.25 litre boxes (SRP is from £18).  

    “When it comes to wine for gifting,” says Jo, “our best-selling products tend to be traditionally popular brands such as The Hidden Sea. With five in the range (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rosé, Red Blend and Shiraz), a bottle of this firm favourite Australian wine makes the perfect gift due to its beautiful design and its contemporary wines that cater to red, white and rosé fans. Also, for every bottle purchased, the brand removes and recycles the equivalent to 10 plastic bottles from our oceans, so a great gift for eco-friendly mums.    

    A bottle of sparkling wine lends itself perfectly to Mother’s Day, be it to gift or to raise a glass with. In its stylish bottle with distinctive blue branding and at a great value price point, Corte Molino (RRP is £9) is the go-to prosecco to stock to capture the attention of shoppers and drive purchases at this lucrative time of year. 

    Over at Biggar and Leith, European commercial director Tim Dunlop adds to the argument of Mother’s Day’s alcoholic appeal. 

    “Alcoholic drinks and gift sets are always a hit and can really add a sentimental touch when chosen with care. Quality and value are important, as is the story behind the brand, and all of our products have a unique background to them. Spirits can make a thoughtful and considered gift and can be matched to the personality and energy of the recipient or can bring a sense of adventure from a far-flung place.   

    “Spirits are great as planned or impulse purchases, both for gifting and for enjoying in the home together. They’re sure to bring a sense of occasion and luxury and delight the recipient on opening on 10 March.”  

    “Ahead of the annual Mother’s Day celebration, we can expect shoppers to be on the lookout for indulgent drinks options, and drinks that offer something special for a celebratory occasion,” says Diageo’s Head of Category Development Off Trade, Lauren Priestley, adding that retailers can maximise profitability during this time by stocking drink options that make great gifts as well as tap into the treat moment. 

    “We know liqueurs and specialities are the fastest growing category within spirits, and more specifically, cream liqueurs are growing at +30 per cent in the off-trade. Cream liqueurs lend themselves to adult treat moments, therefore stocking options such as Baileys Original Irish Cream is key to making the most of the gifting opportunity. 

    Biggar and Leith have made a huge effort at finding luxurious, celebratory liquids for the big day. They a selection of premium, eye-catching alcoholic gift packs, perfect for those who enjoy a celebratory tipple with Mum. Dunlop says it is smart to stock up on versatile drinks gifts that are more timeless and can be enjoyed on 10 March – as well as throughout the year.   

    Be nice to your mum on Sunday

    He particularly recommends the Butterfly Cannon range of three unique 100 per cent agave tequila expressions from Mexico. Butterfly Cannon Blue, which changes colour to a dazzling violet in the glass when mixed with soda or tonic – a real party piece and a drink to wow and bring a sense of fun to Mother’s Day celebrations; Butterfly Cannon Rosa, infused with Mexican pink grapefruit, resulting in a bright summery rose-coloured tequila; and Silver Cristallino, which brings a bright and crystal clear tequila, rich in flavour but not overwhelming, with warm aromas of roasted agave, oak and vanilla.  

    The range also comes in a triple-pack, presented in a striking blue casing decorated with butterfly wings along with details of the Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund.  3x50ml bottles RRP £15. 

    Another trending Biggar and Leith brand is the Hotel Starlino range of Italian aperitivo liqueurs, set to be a popular choice for mums this Mother’s Day – with the Hugo Spritz leading the way in flavour trends on social media.   

    There are four drinks in the range – three aperitivo liqueurs in elderflower, orange and rosé flavours, and an Italian Rosso Vermouth. 

    Hotel Starlino Elderflower (17 per cent abv / 750ml bottle) is an exceptional, complex blend made using elderflower, thyme, coriander and other botanicals to deliver a refreshing and versatile white aperitivo. It is the hero ingredient in a Hugo spritz, bringing a delicately floral flavour to the Prosecco and soda drink. The Tik Tok community crowned the Hugo the cocktail of 2023 as it went viral last summer with #hugospritz amassing 4.3 million views, so it’s the one to watch in on the cocktail scene.    

    Be nice to your mum on Sunday

    The orange variant is a delicious, semi-dry vermouth that is vibrant, rich and full-bodied and the only aperitivo liqueur made with all-natural Italian orange, blended with lemon peel and specially selected botanicals (17 per cent abv / 750ml bottle).  

    The rosé flavoured variant is a zesty, complex, citrus forward blend of Italian pink grapefruit, lemon and orange with bittersweet botanical distillation. It’s a pretty pale pink with enticing aromas and is delightfully fresh with hints of rose petal (17% abv / 750ml bottle).  

    The Rosso Vermouth (17 per cent abv / 750ml bottle) is a traditional red Vermouth di Torino aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels to impart a rich, warm, spicy aroma and flavour.  Infused with vanilla, rhubarb, ginger and bitter orange peel, it’s delicious in spritz drinks with Prosecco and soda, in negronis and Manhattans, or on the rocks to open the taste buds.  

    The bottles make an attractive gift Mother’s Day and when styled and served, bring a real sense of occasion. And are also available as Hotel Starlino gift packs. 

    Aligning with Diageo’s view that the growing market power of liqueurs will make such liquids a popular option on Mother’s Day (and then all summer, actually), Biggar and Leith’s Stambecco is an obvious choice. 

    This elegant range of Italian amaro and liqueurs, distilled in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy, available to retailers to add to spirits fixtures now.    

    Shoppers can choose from two varieties – Maraschino Cherry Amaro and Tiramisu Liqueur – bringing contemporary, familiar flavours to the at-home drinks trolley.    

    Both varieties offer on-trend flavours to suit today’s discerning taste preferences and they’re sure to be hit this Mother’s Day.   

    The Maraschino cherry amaro (35 per cent abv / 750ml bottle) is infused with around 30 botanicals, herbs and spices including bitter and sweet oranges, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. It can be served over ice, enjoyed as a shot or digestif, mixed with lemonade or cola for a long drink, and works well in a “Stamhattan” – a cherry twist on the classic Manhattan.   

    The range also cones in gift packs and handy miniatures 

    Pet Perfect 

    Interesting new research from pet Charity PSDA has opened another possible avenue of Mother’s Day sales for convenience retailers. It shows that the majority (94 per cent) of UK pet owners consider their pets as part of the family, and PDSA says that almost that many owners see themselves rather as “parents” meaning that this Mothering Sunday the furry ones are almost certainly going to be making the best of some special “Mum” time. 

    Be nice to your mum on Sunday

    In fact – and here is the key data point – this weekend, 37 per cent of pet owners surveyed said they will receive a special Mother’s Day gift from their pet (obviously purchased for mum by hubby or kids) with 60 per cent of pets “signing their card themselves” – meaning an extra feline- or canine-related greeting card sale alongside the one from the children. 

    PDSA says that Chocolates at 43 per cent are top of the list of gifts pet owners surveyed say they’re likely to receive, with flowers second (31 per cent), and interestingly a new item, the very stockable candles lighting up third place at 16 per cent. 

    “It’s great to see we’re a nation of pet carers,” said PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing said. “As parents, we nurture and protect those in our care and the fact that so many owners think of themselves as ‘parents’ to their pets is reassuring. 

    “It’s clear that good pet welfare is at the forefront of their minds and hearts, and those surveyed are really putting everything into making their pets’ lives the best they can be – proving how a magical bond can be created between an owner and their furry friend. 

    “Even though cats and dogs don’t know Mother’s Day is approaching, we’re sure they’ll appreciate the love and attention given to them this Sunday as they create new family memories together. Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who celebrates it – pets included!”   

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