Fathers are losing ground to mothers, survey says

A total of 73% of Americans plan to celebrate Father’s Day on June 19. Those who do celebrate will spend an average of $85.66, down slightly from $86.19 last year, according to a National Retail Federation survey.

Total Father’s Day spending is expected to increase, due in part to population changes, reaching $8.23 billion (up from $8.04 billion in 2004), according to the 2005 Father’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch for NRF. By comparison, consumers spent $11.25 billion on Mother’s Day this year, with the average consumer spending $104.63. This is a relatively new trend, as just two years ago consumers spent more on dad ($99.65 on average) than Mom ($97.37).

While fathers can expect to receive a variety of gifts, greeting cards remain a holiday favorite with nearly two-thirds (70.9%) of consumers planning on purchasing at least one card. Other popular gifts will include clothing (31.6%), gift certificates and gift cards (24.1%), books or CDs (22.8%), electronics or computer related accessories (12.5%), and tools or appliances (12.2%). In addition, nearly half of all consumers (41.1%) will pay tribute to dad with a special outing, such as brunch or dinner.

“Dad tends to be more low maintenance than Mom,” said Tracy Mullin, NRF President and CEO. “While moms love to receive luxury items, such as jewelry or a trip to the spa, dads are happy with an afternoon barbeque or watching the ballgame without distraction.” According to the survey, nearly three-quarters (74.7%) of consumers plan to spend as much on dad as they did last year. Women lead the pack, spending an average of $91.46 this Father’s Day (up from $89.77 in 2004), as many women will be purchasing gifts for both their fathers and husbands. The average male plans to spend $79.42, slightly less than $82.19 in 2004. Though women are expected to spend more, they will remain frugal, with 41.1% planning to head to discount stores to find that perfect gift for dad (32.2 % of men). Of total shoppers, 36.8% will shop at discount stores, 35.9% plan to shop at department stores, and 29.4% at specialty stores, including gift stores, card shops and electronics stores. In addition, more people plan to buy Father’s Day gifts online this year than one year ago (16.7% vs.15.9%).