Father’s Day Spending Expected to Top $15 Billion

June 15, 2017 by Douglas A. McIntyre

Source: Thinkstock
Father’s Day retail spending is expected to set a record. The National Retail Federal (NRF) forecasts sales to reach $15.5 billion, up from $14.3 billion, the previous record for the 15 years over which the NRF has kept data.

The billions of dollars translate into $136.75 spent on each father. A total of 77% of the U.S. population celebrates Father’s Day.

The NRF looks at Father’s Day as part of a broader economic picture. NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said:

It’s encouraging to see that consumers are spending on special occasions such as Father’s Day. 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.

Much of the retail industry has suffered recently as people move away from brick-and-mortar shopping. Father’s Day will be no exception. Only 40% of those giving gifts will go to department stores. A total of 34% will shop online.

However, much of Father’s Day spending will not be part of the store or e-commerce retail economy. A total of 27% of fathers receiving gifts will get what the NRF calls “gifts of experience,” which are tickets to events such as sports or concerts. These experiences also include trips to restaurants. These sorts of gifts will be 48% of all gifts given for the holiday, and 26% will go to specialty stores.

Most of the gifts given this Father’s Day are very traditional. According to the NRF, after gifts of experience:

Next up on the spending list is $2.2 billion on gift cards (given by 43 percent), followed by $2.2 billion on clothing (46 percent) and $1.8 billion on consumer electronics (21 percent). Personal care products such as a bottle of cologne (21 percent) total $888 million, slightly edging out home improvement supplies (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.

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