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Holiday Shopping 2008
Press Release

Moms with older kids plan to spend less than those with little ones

CHICAGO (NOVEMBER 11, 2008) – American mothers have confirmed in a recent study what retailers are fearing: they plan to spend less money on holiday presents this year.

In the new report from the Marketing to Moms Coalition, a not-for-profit industry association that studies the habits and purchasing patterns of mothers, women with children plan to spend $50 less than last year, for a total of $660 in predicted holiday spending for 2008. Interestingly, the cuts are biggest for moms with teens and kids aged 7-12. Mothers with the youngest children, those aged six and under, have equal spending expectations as last year.

“Older kids tend to want expensive presents like cell phones, video games, trendy clothes and computer equipment,” says Maria Bailey, a founder of the Marketing to Moms Coalition, and author of the book, Mom 3.0, Marketing with Today’s Mother by Leveraging New Media and Technology. “Moms are telling their older kids that this year, they’re just going to have to wait.”

Offline spending (at traditional retailers) is predicted to take the biggest hit, averaging 8% less than last year’s survey numbers. Online holiday spending is predicted to remain flat at 2% less than 2007 survey levels. The big winners, if there are any, will be mass merchandisers and supercenters like Wal-Mart and Target. The majority of moms (87%) plan to shop at these types of stores for their holiday shopping, with department stores taking second place at 37%, and shoe stores and specialty clothing stores tying for third place at 35%.

Moms plan to buy different holiday gifts for children depending on the age of the child. The top gifts for children 6 and under are baby/toddler toys, educational toys and items for pretend play. Board games, arts & crafts and books are the top items for children 7-12 years old. For teens, the top items Moms plan to buy are clothing, computer equipment and/or games and cell phones.

About the Survey
The survey was comprised of a nationally representative sample of American Moms contacted between June and July 2008, via an online invitation. The sample was balanced on region, household size, population density, income and ethnicity. An ending sample of 1,033 Moms with children under 18 living at home completed the online questionnaire. The research firm Insight to Action analyzed results.

About The Marketing to Moms Coalition
The Marketing to Moms Coalition is the only industry group dedicated to furthering an understanding of America’s most powerful consumers.  A not-for-profit organization, the group’s goal is to share knowledge and insights about moms to help marketers create programs that engage and empower this driving force of the American economy.  More information about the coalition can be found at The founders of the coalition are Maria Bailey, CEO of BSM Media; Bridget Brennan, CEO of Female Factor; Michal Clements, Managing Partner, Insight to Action; Amy Colton, Senior Vice President, Current Marketing; and Teri Lucie Thompson, Chief Marketing Officer, Purdue University.

Maria Bailey