Spending on Father's Day 2011 Expected to Reach $11 Billion

Faced with tough budgeting decisions, consumers have put Father’s Day on the back burner for years, but this year Americans seem intent on showering dad with their appreciation. According to NRF’s Consumer Intentions and Actions Father’s Day survey, conducted by BIGresearch, Americans will shell out an average of $106.49 on dad, up from $94.32 last year and the most in the survey’s eight-​year history. As dad gets more recognition, the gap between Mother’s Day spending (average of $140.73) and Father’s Day spending has narrowed substantially. Total Father’s Day spending is expected to reach $11.1 billion. 

Spending on Dad has taken a backseat for the past few years, but some kids and wives are planning to make up for lost time this Father’s Day,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Shoppers seem to be more excited when it comes to gift giving, an encouraging sign for retailers – and dads – everywhere.”

With an array of gift options to choose from, consumers plan to splurge on a variety of gifts for dad this year. According to the survey, more people will be taking dad on a special outing this year, spending $2.1 billion on activities like golfing, eating out or heading to the movies. Dads will also be receiving more gift cards ($1.4 billion), sporting goods ($653 million) and automotive accessories ($593 million). Traditional Father’s Day gifts like electronics ($1.3 billion), clothing ($1.4 billion), home improvement or gardening tools and appliances ($1.4 billion) and books or CDs ($598 million) will also remain popular.

Dad has always been content spending Father’s Day grilling in the backyard or shooting hoops in the driveway, but this year kids have bigger plans for him,” said Phil Rist, Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch. “Shoppers are putting more thought into Father’s Day gifts and are seeking out the perfect personal – yet practical – gift to say thank you to the man who’s always been there for them.”

With so many options for Father’s Day, shoppers will head to various types of stores to find the perfect gift. More than one-​third of shoppers will head to dad’s favorite department store (35.2%) and nearly as many (32.2%) will shop at discount stores. Additionally, more than one-​quarter (26.9%) will shop at a specialty store (electronics, gift store, etc.,) and 22.1 percent will shop online. Just about one in 10 will shop at a specialty clothing store (8.9%).

Most people will buy for their father or stepfather this holiday (50.3%) but others will treat their husband (26.1%), son (8.0%), grandfather (4.7%), brother (5.8%) and friend (5.3%) to something nice.

[Source:  "2011 Consumer Intentions and Actions Father's Day survey."  National Retail Federation (NRF).  31 May 2011.  Web.  31 May 2011.]