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Forget Gift Cards & Cologne – Dads Want Concert or Sports Tickets

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Father’s Day shoppers are expected to spend an average $134.75 for the holiday, up from last year’s $125.92. Total U.S. spending is expected to reach $15.5 billion, the highest number in the 15 years, topping last year’s previous record of $14.3 billion.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) survey also found 27% of dads would love to receive a “gift of experience” for Father’s Day — and 25% of shoppers plan to grant that wish with gifts like tickets to a concert or a sporting event. When dinners, brunches and other types of “fun activity/experience” are included, consumers plan to spend $3.3 billion on special outings, which will be given by 48% of those surveyed. 

Next up on the spending list is $2.2 billion on gift cards (given by 43%), followed by $2.2 billion on clothing (46%) and $1.8 billion on consumer electronics (21%). Personal care products such as a bottle of cologne (21%) total $888 million, slightly edging out home improvement supplies (16%) at $885 million. Greeting cards are the most common gift, purchased by 64% of consumers, but only account for $861 million of projected spending.

When searching for the perfect gift, 40% of consumers will head to department stores, 34% will shop online, 26% will shop at a discount store, 24% at a specialty store and 19% at a local small business. Among smartphone owners, 33% will use them to research gift ideas but only 18% will use them to make a purchase. Tablets are used slightly less frequently to research (32%) but slightly more frequently to buy (19%).

More than half of those surveyed plan to buy for their fathers or stepfathers (54%) while others will shop for their husbands (29%) or sons (10%).

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