Father’s Day can sometimes be an afterthought against the backdrop of school years ending and summer vacations beginning. Most children are out of school for the mid-June holiday, so fathers, like children with birthdays over the summer, often go uncelebrated through handmade classroom gifts. For loyal spouses and children, the pressure is on for finding that perfect Father’s Day gift, and the clock is ticking. Father’s Day is June 16 this year. In 1909, Washington state made an official recognition of Father’s Day on June 19, 1910, after lobbying work from the YMCA and local churches. Slowly the holiday spread across the country but was not a national holiday until President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.
During the Great Depression, retailers advertised it as a “second Christmas” for dads, advertising tobacco and neckties. Today, it is still a welcome summer boost for retailers. From statewide retailers like Charlotte-based Belk and Mooresville-based Lowe’s Home Improvement to locally owned shops, Father’s Day stands alone as a retail holiday between Mother’s Day and back to school.
According to the National Retail Federation, Father’s Day spending has grown 70 percent, approximately $6.6 billion, since 2009. The biggest drivers of Father’s Day spending are growth in spending by consumers ages 35-44, and spending on clothing, special outings and gift cards. This year, 75.9 percent of people plan to celebrate and are expected to spend a record $138.97, up from last year’s $132.82, and up from $91 in 2009.
Consumers ages 35-44 plan to spend the most at an average $197.66, more than $100 more than this age group spent 10 years ago. Men planned to spend the most for Mother’s Day this year and are also likely to spend more than women for Father’s Day at $160.74 compared with $118.29.
“It’s important to consumers of all ages that their gift for dad is unique and creates a special memory,” Prosper Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “For example, subscription box services have become a popular unique gift option, particularly among younger consumers.”
When searching for the perfect gift, 39 percent of consumers will head to department stores, 34 percent will shop online, 24 percent will shop at a discount store, 23 percent at a specialty store, 11 percent at a specialty clothing store and 2 percent via catalog. More than half (57 percent) of smartphone/tablet owners plan to use their device to assist in Father’s Day gifting decisions, with 38 percent using their mobile device to research products and compare prices.
Most dads give little if any direction to help with gift ideas, so North State Journal is stepping in to give you a hand. Every dad is unique, but here are a few gifts that will make your dad smile. Whether it’s a classic gift or something more spiritous, this guide will help ease the stress of Father’s Day shopping and get your dad’s summer off on the right foot.
Wisconsin-based BenShot offers unique glassware for the dad who has everything. The company itself developed from a father-son project and turned into a national brand. BenShot’s unique bullet glasses are created in a glass workshop on the grounds of a repurposed furniture factory formerly owned by Thomas Edison in rural Wisconsin. The glasses are made in the USA.
Available at benshot.com.
If you are searching for a low-key gift for your dad, replenishing his bourbon stock may be the way to go. Conviction Small Batch Bourbon from Southern Grace Distilleries in Mount Pleasant is located in a former prison that operated from 1929 until 2011. Conviction is the first bourbon to ever (legally) be aged behind bars. Conviction was named best bourbon under 4 years old at the New Orleans Bourbon Festival.
Available at N.C. ABC stores and more information at southerngracedistilleries.com.
More than a tie
Neckties might be a cliched Father’s Day gift, but Southern haberdashery High Cotton offers neckties, bow ties, and cummerbunds that are perfect for a North Carolina dad. High Cotton offers classic accessories for gentlemen, inspired by a higher purpose and committed to the South’s values and people. The brand uses locally hand-cut and hand-sewn products to support the revival of the N.C. textile industry and the Southern tradition of the mannerly, warm, and approachable well-dressed gentleman. See their ad below for a special North State Journal discount.
Available at retailers from Asheville to Duck and at highcottonties.com.
When it’s time to step away from the grill and hit the water, dad should look cool and feel comfortable. Nomad Trunks is a veteran-owned apparel brand based out of Wilmington, and their retro prints and vibrant colors will make dad stand out at the pool party or on the beach.
Available at select retailers, including Redix, Wrightsville Beach and online at nomadtrunks.com.