Sorry, Dad, we’re spending less on your holiday this year


Now it’s Dad’s turn to feel celebration deprivation.

Retailers expect Father’s Day spending to decline this year because of the recession. But dinner and neckties will still be popular gifts, according to a National Retail Federation survey.

The survey found that U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average of $90.89 on gifts for fathers this year, down almost 4% from $94.54 in 2008. Total spending is expected to reach $9.4 billion.

In a previous survey this year, the retail group found that shoppers also had planned to scrimp a bit on Mother’s Day spending.


The Father’s Day survey found that people plan to spend the most ($1.9 billion) on special outings such as dinner or a sporting event. Clothing also ranks high among gift-givers, who are expected to spend $1.3 billion on socks, slacks and ties. Gift cards ($1.2 billion), electronics ($1 billion), books or CDs ($548 million), home improvement items ($522 million) and sporting goods ($502 million) are popular presents too.

“Along with the usual ties, gift-givers will be looking into items that Dad can enjoy with the whole family,” said Tracy Mullin, president of the National Retail Federation. “Retailers will offer specials on new grill sets, sporting and gardening equipment and even electronics as the holiday rolls around.”

As for who gets gifts this year, most people surveyed said they would buy only for their fathers and stepfathers (51.1%). Some husbands (28.6%), sons (7.6%), brothers (5.1%) and grandfathers (4.7%) will also receive gifts from family members.

Survey results are based on a poll of 8,447 consumers from May 5 to 12. The poll, conducted by BIGresearch, has a margin of error of plus or minus 1%.