Don’t buy your dad socks this Father’s Day. Chances are, he has enough pairs already.
Americans are spending a record amount on Father’s Day gifts in 2017, a survey from the trade association National Retail Federation (NRF) found, hitting a 15-year high of $14.3 billion. Some 77% of Americans celebrate Father’s Day, the study found, and the amount of money consumers spend on the holiday has increased each year consistently since at least 2007.
The average American is now spending $134.75 on gifts, up from $125.92 last year. Consumer confidence is largely behind the increase, NRF spokeswoman Ana Serafin Smith told MarketWatch.
“With more consumers working and higher wages, they are able to splurge on special family occasions such as Father’s Day,” she said. “In addition, Father’s Day used to be a day that consumers only celebrated with their own fathers. Now we are seeing families include their extended family and close friends who are also dads into the mix.”
Dads appear to want time with their kids instead of a pair of socks or the usual tie. The type of gift people are giving is changing as well: the number of people opting to gift a special outing such as dinner or brunch is at 48%, up 5% from 2007. Now, 27% of dads say they would enjoy an “experience” gift and 25% of shoppers plan to buy a ticket to a concert or a sporting event for the holiday, up from 22% last year.
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Who is to blame (or thank) for the shift? Largely millennials, Serafin Smith said. The generation, which now has the most spending power of all age groups, reportedly prefers experiences over physical things, and they show it when it comes to buying gifts.
“That is why we are seeing a growth year over year in the category of outings, since it allows the entire family and friends to partake in the celebration and build new memories that they can share on social media and cherish for a lifetime,” Serafin Smith said.
In addition to the 54% of adults who planned to buy a Father’s Day gift for their father or stepfather, 29% planned to purchase a present for a husband, 10% for a son, and 5% for a grandfather.
The bad news: Many kids don’t even go as far as buying a gift for their father. Greeting cards are still the most common present for Father’s Day, with 66% of consumers opting to buy them. However, at their low cost, they’ll only account for $861 million of projected spending in 2017.