Retail benefits from bumper Mother's Day sales The Australian retail industry has benefited from a significant increase in consumer spending leading into Mother's Day 2015.

This continues a recent, year-on-year trend, of improved retail sales in the week preceding the Mother's Day weekend.

According to the Australian Retail Index, growth in 2015 was primarily driven by the fashion, footwear, and personal accessories group, which was 21.1% higher in 2015, compared to a year ago.

Significantly, this group includes watch and jewellery retailing, which has traditionally been a favourite gift option for Mother's Day, accounting for approximately 10 per cent of all retail sales.

Indeed, based on these figures, the National Retail Association estimates that an additional $26.6 million dollars was spent on watches, jewellery and other personal accessories this past Mother's Day, compared with 2014.

This result further extends the exceptional start to 2015 for personal accessory retailers, which have enjoyed four straight months of double-digit growth across Australia.

However, a number of other key retail categories also benefited from substantial increases in Mother's Day sales, with general retail, which includes cosmetics and perfume retailing, recording a positive change of 21.3 per cent.

The café and restaurant subdivision was also buoyant across the Mother's Day weekend, with the Australian Food and Beverage Index revealing a 15.6 per cent increase in sales compared to 2014.

This figure supports forecasts made by the National Retail Association Research Division, which suggested dining-out would make a substantial contribution to total consumer spend this Mother's Day.

In previous years, restaurants and cafes have commanded approximately 22 per cent of total consumer spend on Mother's Day, and the reported sales growth in 2015 suggests a continuing preference for people to seek entertainment and dining experiences outside of the home to celebrate the occasion.

Finally, the amount spent by individuals on Mother's Day gifts and dining increased by $9.12 in 2015, with the average consumer spend being approximately $70.40.

If you are wanting to understand how key events and holidays may impact your retail business, please contact the NRA's Research Division on 1800 738 245