Retailers are looking to cash in big as a majority of Americans plan to celebrate Father’s Day this year spending a total of $15.3 billion on dear ole’ dad. The National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics survey found the average household will spend about $133 in honor of Father’s Day, slightly less than $135 average spent last year.
Total spending is not expected to break the $15.5 billion spent in 2017, but it should be a near-record year led by Millennials between 25 and 34 who plan to dole out $188 on average for Father’s Day gifts. Father’s Day spending ranks slightly behind Valentine’s Day ($19.6 billion) and well behind Mother’s Day which rang up sales of $23.1 billion in May.
The survey found nearly 8 out 10 consumers will celebrate their fathers and other men this year on Sunday, June 17. Over half of those surveyed plan to buy for their fathers or stepfathers (53%) followed by husbands (27%) and sons (10%).
“Leading into the second half of the year, Americans are looking forward to treating their dads and retailers will be prepared to offer a variety of gift options that will create new memories on this special day,” said Matthew Shay, CEO of the NRF.
He said rising consumer confidence is also behind the near record spend this year. Consumer confidence reached a 17-year high in May suggesting second quarter economic growth has likely improved from the the first quarter. Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at the The Conference Board, recently said confidence levels remain at historically strong levels and should continue to support growth in consumer spending in the near-term.
The NRF survey found 43% of consumers plan to purchase clothing for a total spend of $2.2 billion, slightly more than $2.1 billion spent on gift cards. A year ago spending on clothing was also $2.2 billion which tied with gift cards for the most popular gift for dads and other men in the family.
Consumer electronics are also a favorite gift with 20% of shoppers planning to spend $1.8 billion, even with a year ago. Home improvement retailers are expecting sales of $878 million as 16% of respondents said they plan to help their handyman dads with do-it-yourself supplies. Last year consumers said they spent $885 million on home improvement gifts for their fathers.
Greeting cards sales are expected total $844 million this year among 63% of consumers. A year ago 64% of consumers said they planned to buy cards for a total spend of $861 million. Other popular gifts for dad this year include tools ($830 million), sporting goods ($798 million), automotive accessories ($686 million), and books or music ($628 million).
A growing trend around holiday-related spending involves experiential gifts such as concert tickets, sporting events or dinner. This year 47% of consumers said they plan to give a “special outing” gift for a cumulative spend of $3.2 billion. Last year 25% said they were giving a “gift experience” totaling $3.3 billion.
“Special outing gifts have steadily grown in popularity for Father’s Day since their lowest point in 2009,” Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “These consumers, especially those between 18 and 24 years old, want to offer something to their dad’s that is unique, thoughtful and allows for quality time on dad’s special day.”
Rist said to find that special gift, 39% of those celebrating the holiday plan to shop at department stores, 34% will shop online, one in four will visit a discount store and 24% will visit a specialty store. Nearly half of smartphone users plan to use their device to help make purchasing decisions while shopping this Father’s Day.