Consumer Nation

Goodbye Tie as Dad Gets His Due This Father’s Day


Say goodbye to the boring old tie, Dads are getting their due this year, according to recent surveys projecting that consumers are prepared to spend more on gifts for Father’s Day this year.

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Typically, children spend about 15 percent to 20 percent more on their mother than they do on their father for special days, according to Robert Passikoff of BrandKeys, a New York-based brand and customer loyalty research consultancy.

BrandKeys annual Father’s Day survey is projecting that consumers will spend an average of 10 percent more on their father this year compared with last year.

"That's precisely the increase we saw for Mother's Day spending this year," Passikoff said. “The 2012 survey also indicates a slightly higher number of consumers — 75 percent, up 4 percent from 2011 — will be celebrating as last year. Those that are will be spending an average of $136.00 to recognize Dad.”

BrandKeys estimates that means Father’s Day has turned into a nearly $12.3 billion holiday.

The National Retail Federation, the retail industry’s trade group, is projecting spending to be a bit higher, but they also agree: the Mother’s Day-Father’s Day gender gap is closing.

"It should come as no surprise that dads are considerably more laid back when it comes to their special day, opting most times to simply spend quality time with loved ones at a restaurant or at home in the backyard," said BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow, in a press release. "But this Father's Day it's evident that consumers want to thank dad for the support and undivided attention he provides throughout the year."

Great Apps for Father's Day

The NRF’s survey found the average person would spend about $117.14 on gifts for their father, up 10 percent from last year. And they put the total value of the holiday at $12.7 billion.

Four in 10 consumers told BIGInsight, which conducted the NRF survey, that they would head to the department store to do their shopping. But many consumers will treat their fathers to a special outing, such as golfing, eating out or heading to a sporting event ($2.3 billion vs. $2.0 billion in 2011).

Americans also will spend on electronic gift items ($1.7 billion vs. $1.3 billion last year) and apparel ($1.7 billion vs. $1.4 billion in 2011). Others will splurge on gift cards ($1.7 billion), sporting goods ($641 million) and books or music ($645 million).

Perhaps it is the gift card that is ousting the classic tie as a go-to gift. Brandkeys expects spending on gift cards to rise 4 percent from last year, but it sees a 6-percent drop in spending on electronics. Brandkeys also sees a rise in the amount spent on wine and alcohol.

“How many tablets or e-readers does one Dad need?” said Passikoff. He explained that last year high-tech products were the gifts-of-choice.

And it’s a good thing the tie as a gift is going away. Couponing website RetailMeNot had polling firm Ipsos conduct a survey between May 14 and 17, of more than 1,000 adults, and found that more than one-third of dads said a tie, followed by a t-shirt that says “#1 Dad” or “World’s Best Dad” were the gifts fathers least hoped to receive.

And 81 percent of those respondents feel Mother’s Day and Father’s Day should be celebrated equally, but more than three-quarters of both men and women said they believe mothers receive more attention and celebration on Mother’s Day than dads do on Father’s Day.

It's an age-old debate. Even the first couple were reportedly bantering about who gets more attention, mothers or fathers.

According to AP, President Barack Obama told campaign supporters that his wife told him to knock it off for calling Father's Day a "forgotten holiday." He said he has observed that people make a bigger deal out of Mother's Day.

The president said the first lady told him Mother's Day should be a bigger day because "every day is Father's Day" and he is "always getting a treat."

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