Celebrating moms

Local businesses make it easy to make your mother feel extra special

Beerbower Jewelers owner Don Beerbower helps a customer try on pearl bracelets at the Hollidaysburg store. Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski

Mother’s Day spending is expected to total a record $28.1 billion this year, up $1.4 billion from 2020, according to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation. About 83% of U.S. adults are expected to celebrate the annual holiday.

“There is a lot of consumer optimism around Mother’s Day this year as more people are getting vaccinated and stimulus checks are being distributed,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “For many, this is a chance to make up for last year’s Mother’s Day when we were under lockdown. With safety guidelines at top of mind, consumers are planning to be with family, are making travel plans and organizing a special brunch or outing. All of these activities will be reflected through their purchasing decisions.”

This year, consumers plan to spend an average of $220 on Mother’s Day items, the NRF says. This figure is $16 more than they planned to spend last year, and the highest in the survey’s history.

Record spending on gifts of jewelry and electronics are the primary drivers of the increase. Jewelry accounts for over half (59%) of the $1.4 billion increase in spending, while electronics accounts for over one-quarter (28%).

Local jewelers are expecting a better Mother’s Day than last year.

“Retailing was shut down for Mother’s Day last year, but we expect this year to be a very robust Mother’s Day,” said President Michael Kranich Jr. of Kranich’s Jewelers, Altoona. “We have a tremendous amount of new inventory arriving daily and we advise customers to stop in and take a look. Overall, the past 30 days’ sales indicate a very strong holiday and spring selling season.”

“I expect it will be better than last year. We were closed; we were working by appointment. Hopefully, we are expecting bigger sales than last year,” said Don Beerbower, president of Beerbower Jewelers in Hollidaysburg. “Mother’s Day jewelry is necklaces and rings, sometimes diamond earrings, gold and silver bracelets. Prices range from $50 up to whatever someone wants to spend.”

This year, nearly half (49%) say they are planning a special Mother’s Day outing such as a brunch or other activity. While this is up slightly from last year, it is still below pre-pandemic levels.

Finelli’s Italian Villa in Altoona is looking forward to welcoming mothers to their restaurant.

“Last year, there was no Mother’s Day. This year, we need to do things up for mom because she got a year off. We will pamper mom. We need to make it as special as we possibly can and we always do,” owner Frank Finelli said. “This is the only Sunday we are open during the year. The pandemic put the strangulation on us, but we have weathered the storm and we are back and we will continue to take care of mom.”

Finelli’s will be open from noon until 3 p.m. and reservations are required.

Mother’s Day is among the top events of service throughout the year at The Bistro at The Village Green in Martinsburg.

“We always receive a great turnout and look forward to expanding our regular brunch buffet to include items just for mom. Last year, we offered a take-out menu. We’re happy to be back this year with in-house dining. For a small business that seeks to serve our VMC residents without resources, Mother’s Day holds a greater meaning,” said Natalie Baker, marketing and sales coordinator. Baker said reservations are required.

Flowers are also popular Mother’s Day gifts.

Judy Wendt, owner of Wendt’s Florist and Gifts in Duncansville is optimistic about sales for the holiday.

“It was crazy last year, but our sales were fine. Mother’s Day is the biggest holiday of the year for us,” Wendt said. “Sales will probably be up. Mother’s Day is one day that is pretty heavy, it will be good.”

Andrea Hammel, owner of Peterman’s Flower Shop, Juniata, said last year was scary.

“Mother’s Day is such a huge part of our business but it was good. People were understanding as far as knowing some products wouldn’t be available. We did tons of work from our website, and phone calls. It worked out beautifully,” Hammel said. “It is always a good floral holiday. I will do more local buying, especially outdoor plants. Home decor items are very popular now because people have been staying at home more. We expect to see a big increase in blooming and patio plants. We expect fresh flower sales to be as good if not better than last year.”

Jeff Moist, manager at Warner’s Florist Gifts Greenhouses, Hollidaysburg, said it will be difficult to keep up with last year’s pace. Warner’s was given the okay to open to the public shortly before Mother’s Day.

“It was tremendous last year; it was crazy. We just shattered our numbers. At the end, we were running out of flowers. It was nuts,” Moist said. “I don’t think we can expect to reach those levels. We thought it was the pandemic effect.”

Excelsior Fire Company No. 1 of Bellwood will hold its annual flower sale May 8-16. The event was held last year during the pandemic.

“It was the best year we ever had, whether it was the COVID money, they wanted their patios and homes to look nice. We are in high gear for this year. This is not a tent sale like on the corner, it is a full fledged flower sale. We bring in flowers from four counties. We hand select our flowers. Last year, we sold between 1,200 and 1,300 hanging baskets. We have people who come from Pittsburgh to buy flowers,” said Bob Whiteford, event chairman.

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 814-946-7467.


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