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Merchants brace for Mother's Day mania
Men, kids will be out shopping
Brenda Dickey, owner of Funky Mountain Flowers, works on a Mother's Day arrangement. She says the holiday is the second busiest time of year. - photo by Autumn McBride

Coming just on the heels of Easter, retailers are readying for another busy holiday weekend.

Mother’s Day, which is Sunday, has already drawn customers looking for cards, flowers and other treats for mom.

According to a report from the National Retail Federation, the average person celebrating the occasion is expected to spend more than $140 on gifts, up from about $127 last year.

Total Mother’s Day spending is projected to reach more than $16 billion nationwide.

Local retailers don’t doubt the high numbers associated with Mother’s Day sales.

Cris Willis, co-owner of Parsons in Lakeland Plaza, said Friday and Saturday “will be like Christmas for us,” noting the store sees its highest sales next to the holiday season around Mother’s Day.

“We see more men with children in here than any other time of the year,” she said.

Brenda Dickey, owner of Funky Mountain Flowers on Bethelview Road, said Friday and Saturday would also be especially busy for her and her staff of two.

“Saturday’s going to be crazy because of Mother’s Day and [Forsyth] Central and West [Forsyth high schools] both also have their proms and we have a wedding,” Dickey said.

“It’ll be especially crazy with all the teenagers and men who forgot it was Mother’s Day.”

Dickey said only Valentine’s Day brings in more business than the day dedicated to moms.

Like Valentine’s, she said, Mother’s Day is hard to prepare for since most of the business comes in right before the holiday.

“We can only expect the unexpected,” she said.

Willis said the two days prior to Mother’s Day always see so much traffic, the Cumming store has to bring in additional staff.

“We have students and teachers who work with us during the holiday season. We bring in a lot of them on the Friday and Saturday before Mother’s Day,” she said.

“We have 22 people scheduled for Saturday as opposed to about 12 on most days, so it’s about double what we have most of the time.”

Steve Reid, manager of Target of Market Place Boulevard, said the day is also a draw for the retail giant.

“It’s a holiday people look forward to and they know Target has a lot of variety for their gifts, whether it’s a new dress or a bouquet of flowers,” he said.

Since the holiday falls on Sunday, he said, the store usually sees many customers coming in on both Saturday and Sunday.

“We may see them in several times,” he said.

Reid said the store has several Mother’s Day specials this week, as well as items specific to the holiday.

“We have a number of decorative ornaments that hang on the wall or sit on a desk,” he said. “There’s a full selection of cards and the bakery does specialty cakes and cookies.

"This year, we also have a new line of tropical-themed clothing and accessories for girls and women that a lot of customers have bought for Mother’s Day.”

Willis said some of Parsons’ biggest sellers are Pandora and Brighton jewelry lines.

“The Pandora [jewelry] counter will be really crazy and crowded on Saturday,” she said. “We get to the point where we need one of those take-a-number machines since there’s so many people waiting.”

Another big seller is Vera Bradley bags, which include purses, wallets, cosmetic bags and luggage, Willis said.

Those looking to give mom a sweet treat can find that at Parsons too. Willis said the store’s handmade candies and fudge, as well as other favorites like dip mixes, are always big sellers at Mother’s Day.

Smaller items like potpourri, lotions and candles are also popular, she said, noting that fathers often let children pick out such items for mom.

“We’ll have everybody from newborns in the stroller all the way up through 80-plus year olds this weekend,” Willis said.