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Father’s Day spending will total $15.3 billion this year, says the NRF in a new forecast, putting this year’s total retail spending just below last year’s survey record of $15.5 billion. Some 77% of American adults are planning to celebrate Father’s Day, with these celebrants estimating they’ll spend $133 each, on average. That represents a slight dip from last year’s per-celebrant spending average of $135.

The forecast shows very similar patterns to an earlier prediction surrounding Mother’s Day. In that research, retail spending related to Mother’s Day was expected to be just shy of last year’s record total, too.

However, Mother’s Day is a much bigger retail event than Father’s Day. For comparison’s sake:

  • Total Mother’s Day spending this year was forecast to be about 51% higher than this new  prediction surrounding Father’s Day;
  • More adults planned to celebrate Mother’s Day (86%) than expect to celebrate Father’s Day (77%); and
  • Celebrants planned to spend almost $50 more per-person for Mother’s Day ($180) than they plan to spend on Father’s Day ($133).

There is one similarity, though: 25-34-year-olds are projected to be the biggest spenders on dads ($188 per celebrant), as they were forecast to be for moms ($224).

The most common purchase for dads this year? Greeting cards, planned by 63% of shoppers. Next up are special outings such as dinner or brunch (47%), clothing (43%) and gift certificates / gift cards (42%).

While less popular, other categories planned for purchase by around one-fifth of respondents include books or music (22%), consumer electronics (20%) and personal care products (19%).

In terms of total spend, special outings top the list with a projected outlay of $3.2 billion, followed by clothing ($2.2 billion), gift cards ($2.1 billion) and consumer electronics ($1.8 billion).

Department stores will be the most popular shopping destination (39%), per the report, ahead of online shopping (34%), discount stores (25%) and specialty stores (24%).

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 7,681 adults (18+) conducted from May 3-10, 2018. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1% points.

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