I think it's only a gift grab to people who think that a shower is just about gifts.
I don't think a baby shower is about gifts. In my tradition, a baby shower is a celebration of the mother's steps into a new role. It's about celebrating a child coming into the world and the miracle of life.
I always take a gift to a shower if I go because it's so rare that I am able to visit a new mum in hospital (and frankly I don't like to intrude, not everyone wants heaps of visitors) but I don't feel compelled to because the mother 'expects' it.
But then perhaps that's just because I choose my friends carefully and I know that all of my friends would appreciate the hand made beanie that I've made for their bub far more than a blanket set or something like that *chuckle*. Love in every stitch and all that kind of thing .