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Father’s Day spending reaches record-high of $15.5 billion

Staff Reports • Updated Jun 8, 2017 at 9:30 AM

Americans are expected to spend more than ever on gifts for Father’s Day this year with the biggest share going to special outings like a ballgame, concert or dinner, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insight and Analytics.

Father’s Day shoppers are expected to spend an average $134.75 for the holiday, up from last year’s $125.92. With 77 percent of consumers surveyed celebrating, total spending is expected to reach $15.5 billion. That’s the highest number in the survey’s 15-year history, topping last year’s previous record of $14.3 billion.  

“It’s encouraging to see that consumers are spending on special occasions such as Father’s Day,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “This is a positive sign of strong consumer confidence heading into the second half of the year, and a good deal for all the dads who will reap the benefits.”

The survey found 27 percent of dads would love to receive a “gift of experience” for Father’s Day – and 25 percent of shoppers plan to grant that wish with gifts like tickets to a concert or a sporting event.

Next up on the spending list is $2.2 billion on gift cards given by 43 percent, followed by $2.2 billion on clothing at 46 percent and $1.8 billion on consumer electronics at 21 percent. Personal care products such as a bottle of cologne at 21 percent total $888 million, slightly edging out home improvement supplies at 16 percent at $885 million. Greeting cards are the most common gift, purchased by 64 percent of consumers, but only account for $861 million of projected spending.

“With shoppers planning to be more generous to dad this year, the personal care category will be one to watch,” said Prosper principal analyst Pam Goodfellow. “Planned spending on items like cologne, aftershave and razors rose nearly 20 percent year-over-year, outpacing growth in every other gift category for Father’s Day.”

When searching for the perfect gift, 40 percent of consumers will head to department stores, 34 percent will shop online, 26 percent will shop at a discount store, 24 percent at a specialty store and 19 percent at a local small business. Among smartphone owners, 33 percent will use them to research gift ideas but only 18 percent will use them to make a purchase. Tablets are used slightly less frequently to research at 32 percent but slightly more frequently to buy at 19 percent.

More than half of those surveyed plan to buy for their fathers or stepfathers at 54 percent, while others will shop for their husbands at 29 percent or sons at 10 percent.

The survey of 7,335 consumers was conducted May 2-9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

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