Monday, June 13, 2016

2016 Father’s Day Buying Survey


A day born in memory and gratitude by a daughter who thought her father should be honored with a special day has turned into what’s expected to be a $18.8 billion retail holiday this year. That’s according to this year’s Brand Keys Father’s Day survey, a national poll of 5,800 men and women, 18-65 years of age, which asked if – and how –consumers were planning to celebrate Father’s Day. 

The 2016 average spend is up 6 percent this year, twice the increase from last year and equal to this year’s increase for Mother’s Day, which is good news. Steady economic conditions and consumer confidence are fueling holiday sales. This year’s survey also found a slight increase in the number of consumers celebrating Father’s Day this year (78%, +2%). Retailers are looking at an average spend of $157.00 to recognize Dad with relatively equal spends between Women and Men ($161.00 and $153.00 respectively).

Celebrants indicated they were looking to buy gifts in these categories for Dad with #s in parentheses indicating the percent-change from last year:

Gift cards                   40%    (- 2%)
Clothing                     35%    (+5%)
Tools                          20%    (- 5%)
Electronics                18%     (+2%)
Wine & Spirits           15%     (+5%)
Home Improvement  15%     (+1%) 
Sporting Goods         14%    (+1%)
Automotive                10%    ( - 0- )
Spa Services             10%    (+2%)
Smartphones               9%    (- 3%)
Books/eBooks             5%    (+3%)
DVDs/CDs                  2%     ( - 0- )

The biggest increases in gift choice were Clothing – Dad can always count on that perennial tie – and Wine and Spirits, mostly whiskeys, bourbons and scotches. We guess if you’re a Dad there are always occasions that call for a drink too! All other categories were relatively stable with only very slight decreases seen for Tools and Smartphones, both of which were up last year, so it all evens out. After all, how many phones (smart or otherwise) or hammers does Dad really need?

When it comes to “bricks and mortar” stores, and perhaps reflecting a willingness to spend a bit more this year, Specialty Outlets are up a little again this year. Department stores were down, continuing to reflect a general, marketplace retail trend. 

Department Stores  39%    (- 3%)
Discount Stores       36%    (+1%)
Online                      34%    (+1%)
Specialty Outlets     22%    (+2%)
Catalog                     1%     (- 1%)

In addition to the 70% of folks who intend sending send Dad a card (both e- and traditional), people intend to “connect” on Father’s Day at levels and outreach similar to those of last year, and pretty evenly distributed as regards “device”:

Phone                     52%                           
Personal Visits        30%                           
Online                     25%                           

In 1909, Sonora Dodd, raised alone by her father, listened to a Mother's Day sermon and conceived the idea for a Father's Day. She held a Father's Day celebration a year later and by 1956 Father's Day had been recognized via a Joint Resolution of Congress. In 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday of June.


There’s an old saying, “A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.” This year those children are bringing a few extra gifts to celebrate just that.


Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies.

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