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KEY POINTS

  • Spending for Father’s Day, which falls on June 17 this year, is expected to reach a near-record high of $15.3 billion in 2018, down slightly from last year’s record total of $15.5 billion, according to an annual spending survey conducted by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
  • Americans are expected to spend an average of $133 per person on the holiday this year, down from $135 per person last year.
  • Top purchase categories for Father’s Day this year include “special outing” experiences (such as dinner or concert and sporting event tickets), clothing and gift cards.
  • Department stores and online websites are expected to see the majority of Father’s Day shoppers. Nearly half of smartphone owners will research gift ideas on their device, up from 33% last year.

Americans plan to spend a total of $15.3 billion on Father’s Day this year, which would be the second-highest total on record, according to NRF’s 2018 Father’s Day Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The projected total is slightly below last year’s $15.5 billion.

The survey found that 77% of Americans plan to celebrate Father’s Day and spend an average of $133 per person, down from $135 per person last year. Shoppers between the ages of 25 and 34 will be the biggest spenders this year at an average of $188 per person.

Consumer confidence continues to rise, leading to a near-record holiday spend on Father’s Day, which bodes well for retail sales leading into the second half of the year, said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. Father’s Day represents the 6th-largest-spend day in terms of holidays tracked by NRF and Prosper & Analytics.

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Shoppers’ Planned Purchases

On average, shoppers will spend $133 this Father’s Day, with the majority of those dollars going to “special outing” gifts or experiences such as dinner and tickets to concerts or sporting events. The second-highest-spend category is clothing at $2.2 billion, followed by gift cards at $2.1 billion and consumer electronics at $1.8 billion. Completing the top-five is home improvement supplies, on which consumers are expected to spend $878 million.

Greeting cards remain the most popular Father’s Day purchase category, with 64% of surveyed consumers planning to purchase, but that only accounts for $840 million of projected spending. Some 47% of consumers plan to give a special outing gift, representing the next most-popular category.

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Special outing gifts are a category to watch this year. Keeping in mind millennial spending habits, most sons and daughters plan on purchasing experiences rather than things this year. The category has grown in popularity since their lowest point in 2009, according to Prosper Analytics. Planned spending on a special outing, or experience, has surpassed gift spending on clothing, gift cards and electronics.

Where Father’s Day Shoppers Plan to Shop

Among those who plan to buy Father’s Day item this year, 39% plan to shop at department stores, followed by shopping online (34%), at discount stores (25%) and at specialty retailers (24%). While the bulk of consumers still plan to shop at brick-and-mortar retailers, we notice a continuous shift in the tendency to shop offline for Father’s Day. Nearly half of smartphone users plan to use their device to help make purchase decisions while shopping this Father’s Day, up from 33% last year.

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Retail spending this summer remains healthy and the Father’s Day spending forecast is nearly as high as last year’s record, according to the NRF, which bodes well for retail sales throughout the year.

The survey of 7,681 consumers was conducted by Prosper Insight & Analytics.

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