Washington - The National Retail Federation's latest survey finds gift givers are planning to spend more than ever this Father's Day.
The 2012 Father's Day spending survey, which polled 8,789 consumers from May 2 to 8 and was conducted by BigInsight, shows that the average person will shell out $117.14 on Dad's gifts this year, up 10% from $106.49 last year. But more importantly, this figure closes the gap between the holiday's biggest competitor, Mother's Day, when consumers planned to spend an average of $152.
Total spending for Father's Day is expected to reach $12.7 billion, the survey finds.
"He may not ever expect the ‘royal treatment' on Father's Day, but this year Dad doesn't have much of a said as it's evident his loved ones want to make sure he has a great day," said NRF president and ceo Matthew Shay. "For those looking for the perfect gift idea, retailers will have specials on everything from patio sets and grills to ties and gardening tools in the weeks leading up to the holiday."
Consumers plan to splurge on a variety of gifts, according to the survey. More people this year will treat Dad to a special outing, such as golfing, eating out or heading to a sporting event ($2.3 billion versus $2.0 billion in 2011). They will also invest in electronic gift items ($1.7 billion, compared $to 1.3 billion last year) and apparel ($1.7 billion versus $1.4 billion in 2011). Others will splurge on gift cards ($1.7 billion), sporting goods ($641 million) and books or music ($645 million).
When it comes to the number of men people plan to buy for this Father's Day, the survey found "consumers are likely to consider a variety of ‘types' of dads this year," NRF noted. Most people will buy for their father or stepfather (53.9% vs. 50.3% in 2011) and their husband (29.2% vs. 26.1% last year). Others will treat their son (9.7%), grandfather (5.3%), brother (6.8%) and friend (5.7%) "to something nice."
Pam Goodfellow, BigInsight Consumer Insights director, said it should come "as no surprise that dads are considerably more laid back when it comes to their special day, opting most times to simply spend quality time with loved ones at a restaurant or at home in the backyard. But this Father's Day it's evident that consumers want to thank dad for the support and undivided attention he provides throughout the year."