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NRF: Dads (and retailers) should be smiling this Father’s Day

Father’s Day spending is set to reach a new record, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

The annual NRF survey conducted by Prosper Insight & Analytics estimates total spending for Father’s Day in 2019 will reach $16 billion. That is the highest figure ever recorded by the survey and up 4.5% from last year’s $15.3 billion.

Father’s Day spending has grown 70%, approximately $6.6 billion, since 2009. The biggest drivers of Father’s Day spending are growth in spending by consumers ages 35-44, and spending on clothing, special outings and gift cards. This year, 76% of people plan to celebrate and are expected to spend a record $138.97, up 53% from last year’s $132.82, and up from $91 in 2009.

Consumers ages 35-44 plan to spend the most at an average $197.66, over $100 more than this age group spent 10 years ago. Men planned to spend the most for Mother’s Day this year, and are also likely to spend more than women for Father’s Day at $160.74 compared with $118.29.

The most popular gift item will be greeting cards, with 62% of consumers planning to spend $830 million. Other popular Father’s Day items will be special outings, with 47% of consumers panning to spend $3.3 billion, clothing (46%, $2.5 billion), gift cards (43%, $2.3 billion), books/CDs (21.5%, $588 million), personal care (20.5%, $905 million), electronics (20%, $1.8 billion), and tools/appliances (18%, $863 million).

When searching for a gift, 39% of consumers will head to department stores, 34% will shop online, 24% will shop at a discount store, 23% at a specialty store, 11% at a specialty clothing store and 2% via catalog. Over half (57%) of smartphone/tablet owners plan to use their device to assist in Father’s Day gifting decisions, with 38% using their mobile device to research products and compare prices.

More than half of those surveyed plan to buy for their fathers or stepfathers (53%), while others will shop for their husbands (27%) or sons (9%).

The survey of 7,591 consumers was conducted May 1-May 9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.
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