published Saturday, June 14th, 2014

Dads get less than moms on that special day as businesses seek parity in how consumers shop

Debby Davis hands her daughter Leah Davis, left, one of the Father's Day cards she's chosen, with a shared laugh, as they browse the card selection at a Target store in Augusta, Ga.
Debby Davis hands her daughter Leah Davis, left, one of the Father's Day cards she's chosen, with a shared laugh, as they browse the card selection at a Target store in Augusta, Ga.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

BY THE NUMBERS

$12.5 billion: Total Father’s Day spending

$19.9 billion: Total Mother’s Day spending

$113.80: Expected individual Father’s Day spending, down $6 from last year

64 percent: People who will buy a Father’s Day greeting card

43 percent: People who will go out to dinner or a sporting event for Father’s Day, spending a total $2.5 billion

40 percent: People who will buy clothing gifts, spending a total $1.8 billion

Source: National Retail Federation

Dads are people, too.

They need haircuts. And massages. And a little pampering, from time to time.

And Chattanooga businesses are more than ready to provide all of that and much more for Father’s Day gifts.

“It’s better than a tie or barbecue tools,” said Sarah Medley, director of business development at Studio 59, a salon and spa.

Medley said on Thursday that trends surrounding men and cosmetic care are changing. But Father’s Day is still far below Mother’s Day and Christmas for sales at Studio 59.

And that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, for Medley or any business, according to a National Retail Federation report.

Its numbers say that Father’s Day is, across the board, the smallest of the American gift-giving holidays.

And that Americans spend far less — $7 billion less — on Father’s Day than Mother’s Day.

This year, Americans typically spent about $163 on Mother’s Day gifts, compared to a projected $113 for Father’s Day.

And both of those figures are lower than they were a year ago.

Pam Goodfellow, corporate insights director at Prosper Insight, said in the report that the declines are from consumers’ attempts at “keeping a strict budget.”

And many just don’t know what to buy for dad.

“A lot of people are kind of stumped for this day, myself included,” said Medly.

Which is why she suggests something outside the norm, like a massage or hair cut. Or a gift card that lets dad decide how he wants to treat himself.

Gift cards — now there’s a good idea, said Sportsman’s Warehouse Manager Karl Schiltz.

“The perfect gift for dad is a Sportsman’s Warehouse gift card so dad can get what he wants,” said Schiltz.

Unlike other stores, Father’s Day is one of the busiest holidays of the year at Sportsman’s Warehouse.

The rush usually comes in one frenzied spell, “an action-packed afternoon,” as folks hit the store today to pick up their gifts.

“We always keep our eyes open for the mother and the kids without the dad,” he said.

Sportsman’s Warehouse even schedules extra help to alleviate wait times and keep help on the floor. The store is offering sales on several items, from guns to tents and thermos bottles.

“It’s the complete opposite of Mother’s Day,” said Schiltz. “On Mother’s Day, this store is empty.”

Contact staff writer Alex Green at agreen@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6480.

about Alex Green...

Alex Green joined the Times Free Press staff full-time in January 2014 after completing the paper's six-month, general assignment reporter internship. Alex grew up in Dayton, Tenn., which is also where he studied journalism at Bryan College. He graduated from Rhea County High School in 2008. During college, Alex covered the city of Graysville and the town of Spring City for The Herald-News. As editor-in-chief of Bryan College's student news group, Triangle, Alex reported on ...

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