Forsyth County retailers have plenty of options for last-minute Mother’s Day shoppers.
Mom’s big day is Sunday. And according to a survey from the National Retail Federation, shoppers are expected to spend more on the holiday than they have in several years.
Consumers are anticipated to spend an average of nearly $169, up 11 percent from last year’s $152.
In total, Americans will spend more than $20 billion for the holiday.
Local merchants are hoping to get their share of those sales with everything from candles and flowers to jewelry.
Janice Chavis, manager of Whimsee Candles & Gifts in Midway, said Mother’s Day typically means higher than usual sales for the store, which specializes in hand-poured candles and decorative items.
“It’s a good time of year for us,” Chavis said of the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day.
She said some of the most popular items this year have been decorative towel and washcloth sets, aprons and trinkets with imprinted Mother’s Day sayings.
Of course, she added, candles are always big sellers. Customers also bring in their own items, such as jars or coffee mugs, to be filled with wax to make candles.
“We have last-minute gift ideas for those guys who come in on Friday afternoon saying, ‘I need something; what have you got?’”
Besides small decorative items, flowers are also one of the top gift ideas.
For Ronnie McCormick, owner of Lanierland Florist on Canton Road, Mother’s Day is “one of our busy holidays.” Following Valentine’s Day, he said, it’s probably their busiest.
Unlike Valentine’s Day, however, Mother’s Day business is more diverse.
“It’s not just a red rose deal like Valentine’s,” he said. “It’s more a mixture of stuff and not so much one type of flower. Customers like the pink colors for Mother’s Day, but it’s in all different types of flowers and all different prices.”
It’s also different as far as the delivery schedule.
“The one good thing about Mother’s Day is that it does seem like folks have a tendency to spread things out,” he said. “It’s not like Valentine’s Day where everybody wants it that day … we start sending out Mother’s Day orders as early as a week prior.”
For those who have a little bigger budget for mom, jewelry is also a popular gift item.
While the holiday isn’t especially busy for Roger Barker, owner of The Goldsmith, he does get a little extra business at his store of 34 years in the Lanier Crossing Shopping Center.
“For those stores that offer sterling silver pieces, I can see it being a busy time because people want to spend maybe $100 or $200 on jewelry for mom,” he said.
Barker, who works only in gold and platinum, said his price points may be a little out of range for most shopping for mom.
“But I do have a few customers who come here for Mother’s Day,” he said, noting that pearls always make good gifts, as do diamonds.
But Barker said the best gift for a mom is likely just spending time with her.
“That’s probably the main thing most mothers want anyway,” he said.
For those who want to do that over a meal, Forsyth’s many restaurants will be ready Sunday afternoon.
Bill Norman, owner of Norman’s Landing on Peachtree Parkway in south Forsyth, said his staff will be ready to honor moms on their day.
“Everybody we have will be here on Sunday,” he said. “It’s the busiest day of the year for us.”
Norman said the restaurant will offer a special brunch menu including eggs benedict from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., as well as its regular lunch and dinner menus with plenty of specials such as crab and lobster bisque and shrimp and crab quiche.
“We’re planning on feeding like 500 people for brunch and about 400 and something for dinner,” Norman said. “It’s always a great day.”