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Father’s Day 2017 Retail Projections Break Records

Father’s Day is coming up quickly, and shoppers around the country are ready to spend more than ever. The National Retail Federation has published a study for the past 15 years to determine how much US shoppers plan to spend on Dad, where they’ll buy gifts, and what exactly they’ll choose. This year’s installment, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, found that spending for Father’s Day is projected to reach a height of $15.5 billion. Let’s break down what dads will be getting this year and what it means for retailers.

Top Father’s Day 2017 Categories

Usually it’s the millennials who get all the flack for bucking the trend of valuing material items and instead opting for experiences. Maybe those millennials are passing that preference on to Dad, as the highest amount ($3.38 billion) this Father’s Day will be spent on outings. These outings vary; they could include a meal out with the family, a sports game, or maybe a concert. Experiences can be a bit more costly than other gift categories, so they actually make up the second-most popular category, with 48 percent of respondents planning to take their dads out for a meal or to the game. The only category that beat out experiences was greeting cards, with 64.3 percent of respondents stating that they planned to get a card, totaling $0.9 billion in spending.

Beyond those two, clothing came in in third place, with 46.1 percent planning to buy a nice tie or maybe shirts for the summer. Fourth place goes to gift certificates and gift cards at 42.6 percent, for those who like to make sure their dad get to choose exactly what he wants. Clothing and gift cards are just below experiences in terms of spending. These two categories are expected to bring in $2.2 billion each.

Where Father’s Day Gifts Will Come From

While online shopping’s popularity is quickly creeping up  for Father’s Day 2017 (at 33.7 percent), it is still beat by long-standing department stores, which topped the charts at 39.9 percent. This is interesting to note because such a high percentage of those celebrating Father’s Day this year said they were taking Dad out for some type of experiential gift, yet only 18.7 percent of respondents said they planned to buy gifts at small local businesses. This potentially exposes a minor flaw in the options given to respondents to choose from, as a restaurant category seemed to be missing. Luckily for retailers, their findings are still on target for the types of products most retailers sell.

What This Means for Retailers

Planning an assortment that goes beyond the usual cologne or bathrobe will work wonders for retailers looking to stand out. Since so many gift-givers want to surprise their dads with an experience, show how your products can tie into an exciting outing through your marketing campaigns. A new set of golf clubs could lead to the family picnicking near his favorite fairway, or new sunglasses could be the first step to getting everyone together for a trip to the beach.

Shoppers are planning to spend more than ever this year, and retailers have a lot to gain from this 8.4 percent larger projection over 2016 if they can tap into the right data.

Contributing Writer: Angelica Valentine

Min-Jee Hwang

Min-Jee is the former Director of Marketing at Wiser. She has extensive experience working with SaaS companies and holds a BA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from NYU Stern.

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