The 2014 average anticipated spend for Dad is projected to be up 7½ percent, according to the annual Brand Keys Father's Day survey. "That's the precise increase we saw for Mother's Day spending this year," said Robert Passikoff, founder and president, Brand Keys (brandkeys.com) the New York-based brand loyalty and customer engagement research consultancy that conducts the national survey.
“This year’s survey indicates a slight increase in the number of consumers celebrating Father’s Day over last year (78%, +3%), and retailers are looking at an average spend of $145.00 to recognize Dad, with pretty much an equal spend between Women and Men ($155.00 and $135.00 respectively)” in is expected to be a nearly $14 billion dollar retail holiday, according to Brand Keys’ survey.
As part of the Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, the firm polled a national sample of 5,500 men and women 18-65 years of age, asking if and how they were planning to celebrate Father’s Day.
What Consumers Will Be Buying
Here’s what celebrants indicated they were looking to buy for Dad, (parentheses indicate percent-change from last year):
Gift cards 45% (+6%)
Electronics 15% (- 5%)
Clothing 23% ( -0- )
Tools/Automotive 25% (+5%)
Wine & Spirits 15% (+5%)
Sporting Goods 14% (+4%)
Smartphones 10% (+4%)
Spa Services 8% (NA)
Books/eBooks 3% (- 2%)
DVDs/CDs 2% ( -0- )
The biggest change was in Gift Cards (up 6%), followed by Tools and Automotive accouterments and Wine and Spirits (each up 5%). Consumers are still shopping smarter, but as high-tech products were the gifts-of-choice last year, anticipated sales in those categories are down a bit, “a similar pattern we saw for Mother’s Day this year. After all, how many tablets or e-readers does one Dad need?” said Passikoff.
“Smartphones showed up more strongly à la ‘Electronics’ and we broke them out separately this year,” added Passikoff. Along with Mother’s Day equality of increased spend, ‘Spa Services” for Dad showed up in a meaningful way this year for the first time.
Anticipated clothing purchases and DVD and CD gift items are flat. “Although we can safely say that Dads can always count on the perennial Father’s Day tie,” noted Passikoff. “And virtually everybody (95%,) says they’ll be sending a card, via snail-mail or email.” About half of the consumers (48%) surveyed indicated they will celebrate with some dining excursion for brunch, lunch, or dinner.
Where They’re Shopping for Dad
When it comes to “bricks and mortar” stores, and perhaps reflecting a willingness to spend a bit more this year, Specialty Outlets are up 4%, double that of Department and Discount Stores (+2%), “but as it happens every year,” noted Passikoff, “online is up again, this year by 10%.
Department Stores 42% (+ 2%)
Discount Stores 36% (+ 2%)
Online 35% (+10%)
Specialty Outlets 20% (+ 4%)
Catalog 3% ( - 0 -)
But whatever they buy and wherever they buy it, beyond cards, people intend to “connect” with Dad on Father’s Day at levels similar to those of last year, with some small differences between Men and Women. Phone calls are #1, but Personal Visits are up 5% over last year.
TOTAL MEN WOMEN
Phone 52% 45% 59%
Personal Visits 30% 18% 42%
Online 25% 20% 30%
In 1909, Sonora Dodd, raised alone by her father, listened to a Mother's Day sermon and conceived the idea for Father's Day. She held a Father's Day celebration a year later and by 1956 Father's Day had been recognized by a Joint Resolution of Congress. In 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday of June.
“There’s an old saying that a father carries pictures where his money used to be,” said Passikoff. “This year’s increase in spending seems to indicate that families are trying to make up for that!”
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