3 things to know about Father's Day 2021

With record-setting plans, consumers are eager to celebrate

As more of the country becomes vaccinated and local and federal restrictions lift, consumers are eagerly planning vacations, making reservations for dinner out and planning family gatherings for events like Father’s Day.

This year’s annual Father’s Day survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics found that consumers plan to spend a record $174 on average on gifts for dads, granddads and other father figures in their lives. To understand what’s behind these numbers, NRF’s research team took a closer look at the data to see what has stayed the same and what’s different about Father’s Day this year.

Shoppers still want to splurge on dad

During the pandemic, consumers spent record amounts on holidays and other special events. And this wasn’t just limited to holidays or events like Halloween or the winter holidays. Last year, at the very beginning of the shutdowns, consumers expected to spend more than ever on gifts for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. For many, sending gifts or planning virtual celebrations were a way to bring some joy to loved ones who could not gather in person or to reclaim a sense of normalcy despite the hardships of the pandemic.

A year later, that momentum has continued even as restrictions have lifted and consumers can return to some semblance of normalcy: 80 percent of shoppers say that celebrating Father's Day this year is important to them given the current state of the pandemic. And while you can’t put a price tag on time with dad, consumers are also looking to spend more on items like clothes, gift cards and electronics.

Consumers are looking forward to taking dad out again

With vaccination rates rising and restrictions on gatherings and dining out lifting, consumers are in a different mindset than they were even a month ago when they celebrated Mother’s Day. And it shows in the renewed interest in traditional Father’s Day dinners, brunches and other out-of-the house activities.

In fact, those planning to gift a special outing for Father’s Day are back up to pre-pandemic levels this year.

Compared with 2020, those aged 25 to 34 saw the biggest rebound in terms of gifting dad a special outing this year.

Consumers want to pick out gifts online and in stores

It’s not just how consumers are celebrating that is different from last year, but also where they are shopping. Over the past year, consumers have become increasingly comfortable with turning to digital channels to purchase everything from groceries to furniture to workout gear. Even as things reopen, shoppers will likely continue to rely on the convenience that shopping online often represents.

However, there is continued interest in shopping in stores. In fact, while the percent of those intending to shop for Father’s Day gifts online is above pre-pandemic levels, it is still down from last year. It turns out consumers want choice in terms of where they shop. And, when given the option, many are looking forward to shopping in-person in department stores, specialty shops and small businesses.

This is all great news for dads who can look forward to Father’s Day celebrations and activities like a dinner out or simply gathering with their kids and grandkids. For more insights and data, check out NRF’s Father’s Day headquarters.

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