Total spending in the US for Father’s Day was about $17 billion in 2020 – and that was at the height of the pandemic. The National Retail Federation’s statistics show this holiday trending up significantly from $12.5 billion in 2015, which is about a 35% increase. Even if you don’t normally promote Father’s Day gifts, it may be time to think about what your store offers that could help you capture some of this market.

Top gift categories, the NRF predicts, will include personal care, and tools and appliances for the home and garden. Because a majority will still be celebrating virtually due to COVID, gifts will often need to be shipped (giving Amazon and other online vendors a big advantage). But with a predicted average per person expenditure of $150, it may be worth offering free or discounted shipping on certain items.

One idea would be to put together some Father’s Day gift boxes that include shipping. A heavy white cardboard “mailer” box runs a couple of dollars, and can be lined with shredded crinkle tissue at a low cost. Fill the box with a variety of themed gifts to please a father or grandfather, plus a special card or label. Offer several different ones ready-to-go in your store or on your website.

An interesting demographic to target is young adults. An article in the digital magazine MuchNeeded mentions that 25- to 34-year-olds want to buy a gift that is unique or different, or creates a special memory. Our Cooking School hasn’t reopened yet, but an example of a welcome gift might be a class to be taken together with a son or daughter.

One of the keys to successful Father’s Day giving is finding something that acknowledges a father or grandfather’s special interests or hobbies. From witty socks to a brandy old fashioned candle, many independent retail stores have gifts that are unique and unexpected. Between now and June 20, your challenge is to figure out how best to let customers know that they can count on your shop to help them find an affordable, memorable gift.

Happy Retailing,
Carol “Orange” Schroeder

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