“It’s been busy and we have sold through our Mother’s Day stock pretty well from the website and click & collect, but we would have done so much better if we have been allowed to open. It is very disheartening to see specialists being clobbered for this important event with the sales going to generalists or online operators,” said Mark Janson-Smith, managing director of Postmark, the London-based group of four card shops, relaying the feelings of many indies who are frustrated to miss out on this lucrative Spring Season event.
“To sum Mother’s Day up in one word, I would say ‘Tough’. Tough on independents, tough on those who have lost somebody and tough on families unable to get together,” Jo Barber, owner of No.14 in Ampthill in Bedfordshire told PG Buzz.
While Jo says that “all things considered” her Mother’s Day sales have been good. “We found customers were searching for cards online in early January, so we made them visible and they started selling straight away.” Jo feels the card sending has been extended this year due to the pandemic. “We’ve sold a huge number of cards for Nans, Grans etc this year. The cards by Molly Mae with the message ‘sending hugs on Mother’s Day’ absolutely nailed the sentiment as so many people are unable to visit their family,” says Jo.
While she admits that the traffic on the site and click & collect has “gone a little bit crazy”, Jo adds that trade for the season is “not a patch” on what it is usually for No.14, but she remains positive. “The future is bright. I genuinely feel this is our last lockdown and really believe that high streets will recover quickly.”
For this Mother’s Day though, the retailers who have been able to trade – notably the supermarkets and garden centres as well as the online operators have experienced an extraordinary surge in demand.
“Mother’s Day has gone through the roof – our card sales are up 75%,” Carly Pearson, senior card buyer for Sainsbury’s confirmed to PG Buzz yesterday (March 11).
However, this huge spike is causing unavoidable shortages in store. “We have tried to keep stocked up, but we will have next to nothing left on the card fixtures for the weekend,” admitted Carly.
Meanwhile, Thortful has gained ground by ramping up its consumer marketing (through TV advertising and an impressive PR campaign, but in doing so it has also reaped sizeable benefits for the NHS.
As part of its campaign to celebrate the NHS as the ‘Mother of the Nation’ Thortful has smashed its target of raising £110,000 for the NHS Charities Together (NHSCT) by donating 5p from each Mother’s Day card sold from the platform as well as £5 from the sale of every Tulip Rainbow bouquet of flowers it sells. As of midday today (March 12) the donated figure was almost £118,000!
Thortful commissioned some consumer research to give some insights into how Covid-19 has impacted on the ways we will celebrate Mother’s Day this year as oppose to 2020 as well as how the pandemic has served to elevate the important role mums play in our lives.
According to the research, 54% of UK adults say the pandemic has made them realise just how much they appreciate their mums.
Nearly 9.5 million (18%) of Brits will be separated and unable to meet their mum on Mother’s Day this year.
This Mother’s Day, mums want to be treated with quality time (59%), a card (42%) and a home-cooked meal (40%) over all else, according to Thortful’s research findings.
For the first time ever spending it apart for one in ten (10%) – 14% are choosing to celebrate the day over a video call instead.
Respected columnist Deborah James and mother of two living with cancer has got behind Thortful’s Mother’s Day activities. Deborah commented “Covid, and for me Cancer, has reminded us even more of the value of family. For many of us, being able to see our mums or other loved ones has been top of our list all year. It’s reminded us something we perhaps once took for granted, is now one of the most special things we all dream of.”
Top: An image on Postmark’s website.