3 ways consumers will celebrate dads despite the coronavirus

While fewer expect to take their loved ones out this Father's Day, they’re making it up in other ways
VP, Industry and Consumer Insights

On average, consumers plan to spend $149 on special gifts for dad this Father's Day.

NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics Father's Day Survey

With Memorial Day in the rearview mirror and summer officially underway, consumers across the country are gearing up to celebrate the dads, granddads and other father figures in their lives. This year three-quarters (75%) of consumers say they plan to celebrate Father's Day, according to the annual survey conducted by NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

While fewer consumers expect to take their dads out for Father’s Day, they’re trying to make it up in other ways — whether it’s splurging a little more or surprising dad with something out of the ordinary. NRF’s research team took a closer look at the data to understand how exactly the coronavirus is impacting consumers’ Father’s Day plans and what dads can look forward to this year.

Getting personal

Mother's Day and Father's Day might be just over a month apart, but during a pandemic, that can be eons in terms of the impact on everyday life. Just in the past few weeks, many parts of the country have started easing toward reopening businesses and phasing out stay-at-home mandates. As a result, consumers seem slightly more optimistic that they might be able to see their dads in person: 58 percent still say they are likely to celebrate Father's Day virtually this year, compared with the two-thirds (66%) who said they would do so for Mother's Day.

It's the thought that counts

Whether they are able to celebrate their dads in person or from afar, more than three-quarters (77%) of consumers say Father's Day is important this year specifically because of the coronavirus pandemic. And they want to give dad a gift that matters. Many consumers, particularly younger shoppers under the age of 35, place a priority on giving gifts that are unique or that create a special memory.

"A lot of the everyday activities that consumers may have taken for granted like a family cookout or simply being able to give their dads a hug were put on pause with COVID-19," Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. "As a result, many people want to make this Father's Day stand out." That sentiment is playing out in consumers' spending plans: On average, consumers plan to spend $149 on special gifts for dad, approximately $10 more than they spent in 2019.

Extreme makeover: Dad edition

What exactly are people splurging on for dads? Similar to Mother's Day when categories like home items, electronics and books surged in popularity, consumers' pandemic lifestyles are reflected in the types of gifts they’re choosing for dad. Months spent at home have given some consumers time to tackle home projects that have been on their lists. Retailers like The Home Depot and Lowe’s reported more purchases for DIY projects in the first quarter of 2020. And consumers want to make sure dads have the right gear as they launch their own HGTV-inspired projects. The percentage planning to gift tools, appliances or home improvement items grew significantly this year.

It's not just things around the house that might need a little fixing up. Over the past few months, dads have either had to learn to style that man bun or figure out how to DIY their own haircuts. According to Google trends, searches for items like home haircuts and men's hair clippers have surged over the last couple of weeks. And the number of consumers planning to gift dad a personal care item for Father's Day is up 21 percent year over year.

To learn more about these and other Father's Day insights, visit NRF's Father's Day Data Center.

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