Cars. Fishing. Golf. Baseball. Any one of these are sure to bring up fantastic memories of hanging out with your dad. And, quicker than he can say, “Don’t tell your mother!” Father’s Day is upon us. Ask any dad what he wants this year and the odds are very good that you will receive the following answer: “I don’t know; nothing.” Yet in spite of Dad’s perennial lowball request, consumers will still spend a record-high $14.3 billion this June 19th, according to NRF’s annual survey.
“It’s encouraging to see consumers planning to splurge on dads,” said Matthew Shay, President and CEO of NRF. “This increase in spending could be a good sign related to consumers’ willingness to spend more as we head into the second half of the year.”
Retailers hoping to catch their share of this year’s Father’s Day spend will want to bundle product offerings with experiences, particularly those that can be shared by both the children and the dads. Merchants should also consider combining Father’s Day promotions with other seasonal events, like graduations and summer holidays, since spending levels for dads consistently lag behind those for moms.
Now, we’re not saying that people love their moms more than their dads, but research doesn’t lie. The data shows that Americans plan to spend $7.1 billion less on Father’s Day than on Mother’s Day:
- 30% planned to spend $51-$100
- 27% planned to spend between $100-$250
- 32% will spend between $1-$50
- 29% will spend between $51-$100
Gifts: Dad Do’s And Don’ts
Moms’ top gift choice for Mother’s Day this year was time with the family. Likewise, a majority of dads (60%) said they hope to spend Father’s Day with their family. Everyone in the family should be browsing for vacations and getaways, because 32% of dads are hoping to get out of town, according to new research from Ebates. The results don’t mention if that vacation is with or without the family, but consumers can make that call themselves. What else does dad want this Father’s Day?
- 31% Tickets to a sporting event;
- 28% Power tools;
- 28% New tablet;
- 26% Watch;
- 25% Favorite beer; and
- 21% BBQ gear.
As with last year, and mirroring Mother’s Day, a gym membership ranks very low — 92% of dads would rather be gifted anything but a gym membership. Furthermore, 36% of dads are most tired of receiving underwear and socks for Father’s Day, and 35% are sick of receiving ties.
“Finding the right gift for Dad can be a challenge, since preferences seem to vary widely from year to year,” said Kevin H. Johnson, CEO of Ebates. “Last year, clothing topped dads’ wish lists, but this year it seems like most dads would prefer a vacation.” This may be another indication that the economy is improving, as gift preferences move from the practical to the experiential.
In addition to the 70% of people who intend to send Father’s Day cards, people intend to “connect” with Dad via pretty much the same vehicles as last year, according to the annual Brand Keys Father’s Day survey:
- 52% will connect by phone;
- 30% will make personal visits; and
- 25% will reach out online.
Note To Retailers: Upsell Other Events; Dad Doesn’t Mind
Given the relatively paltry amounts consumers will shell out for dad versus mom, retailers might want to consider upselling other events with their Father’s Day promotions, such as graduations, birthdays and other summer holidays.
And just as many moms admitted that they shop for themselves on Mother’s Day, it turns out that dads do, too. In fact, 56% of dads say they pick out their own Father’s Day gift at least some of the time. So, retailers may make some extra cash from dad himself.
By the way, most shoppers (38%) will be stopping into a department store for Dad’s gift, with the remaining utilizing the following locations, according to NRF:
- 32% Online;
- 27% Discount Store;
- 24% Specialty Store (Greeting Card/Gift Store, Electronics Store);
- 17% Local/Small Business;
- 11% Specialty Clothing Store; and
- 2% Catalog.
The Hardest To Shop For? Nah, Get Him A Gift Card
In a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers, CashStar found that dads topped the list as the hardest family member for whom to shop. The survey found that more than half (55%) reported having given a gift card as a Father’s Day gift. Among this group 36% have given a gift card every year for the past several years.
In fact, consumers will spend nearly $2 billion on gift cards for dad. The most popular categories are:
- 39% Restaurants;
- 28% Home improvement;
- 25% Sports/outdoor;
- 23% Department stores;
- 23% Electronics; and
- 20% Movies/entertainment.
In A Pinch? Listen To Dad And Give Him Nothing
Just to prove that, for once, someone is listening to dad, you can give him nothing. Century 21 Real Estate LLC launched its “Give Dad Nothing”Father’s Day gift campaign, enabling children of all ages to give their dads exactly what they seemingly wish for year after year — absolutely nothing — as in a piece of Nothing, Ariz., an uninhabited ghost town located in Mohave County approximately 120 miles northwest of Phoenix.
Consumers can log onto givedadnothing.com and enter the name of their dad to receive a free, printable certificate of a 24-hour license on Father’s Day for a parcel of land in Nothing. They can then download, print or email the certificate, along with a special #givedadnothing Father’s Day card, and send Dad this unique gift idea digitally or by U.S. mail.
Notes From Several Dads Who Declined To Be Identified
There are certainly no shortages of gifts for dad, and he will love anything you give him. But really, all he wants is time with his family. In fact, we spoke to several dads and their tips have solved the great mysteries of Father’s Day once and for all:
Five Dad Tips (From Real Dads)
- Don’t spend too much money on him;
- We know you’re busy, so don’t go out of your way for anything;
- If you’re going to buy something, make sure the customer experience is seamless;
- Let’s grill, relax and enjoy the day with the family; and
- When in doubt, don’t tell your mother.