- The Washington Times - Monday, April 28, 2008

Not even mom is safe from a poor economy. Mother’s Day spending is expected to be down a tad this year compared to last year, according to the National Retail Federation, a Washington trade group.

The average American is expected to spend $138.63 on mom for Mother’s Day this year. That’s down just a smidge from last year’s average of $139.14.

The NRF typically sees an increase of at least a few dollars in spending on most holidays.

Americans are expected to spend $15.8 billion on Mother’s Day, which falls on May 11 this year.

“Mom has been saying for decades that it’s the thought that counts on Mother’s Day, and this year, kids might actually be listening,” said Tracy Mullin, NRF’s president and chief executive officer.

Americans are expected to spend the most — $3 billion — on a special meal with mom, followed by jewelry, electronics, flowers, clothes or accessories and personal service gifts, such as a trip to a spa.

The NRF attributed the decline in spending to the economy.

“Gas prices and other economic issues will still be at the forefront of people’s minds as they shop around for the perfect gift for mom,” said Phil Rist, vice president of strategy at BIGresearch, which conducted the survey for the NRF.

Gaylord officially opens doors

The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center officially opened its doors Friday in Prince George’s County.

The hotel got off to a bumpy start with reports of mice in guest rooms and an outbreak of the norovirus. Not to mention there were quite a few political dust-ups over the years.

But Gaylord executives say the problems are behind them.

“Sure, there have been a few hiccups along the way, a few misunderstandings,” said Gaylord Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Colin Reed, who candidly cited issues such as union labor, workplace diversity and liquor licenses.

But he said the issues have been resolved and “Prince George’s County is where it’s happening in this region.”

In other news

• Harris Teeter on Wednesday opened its first store in the District. The grocery store, which has opened shops in Northern Virginia and the Maryland suburbs, opened its doors at 1631 Kalorama Road NW. The 37,000-square-foot store will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and includes the standard Harris Teeter fare of hot food, salad, fruit, sushi and olive bars, in-store dining area, pharmacy and a wine area with a consultant.

• It seems you can’t turn a corner in the District without running into a new BID (Business Improvement District). The Washington, DC Economic Partnership is hosting a discussion Wednesday about how the new BIDs are changing the way development is done in the city. The event, from 8 to 10:15 a.m., will take place at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Theater on New York Avenue Northwest. Details are at wdcep.com.

Retail & Hospitality appears Mondays. Send news to Jennifer Haberkorn at jhaberkorn@washington times.com or 202/636-4836.


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