Father’s Day and Customer Spending – The lowdown

24 May,2019

[lead]Father’s Day 2019 is just around the corner[/lead]

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It’s that time of year again! Believe it or not, we are already approaching the end of May which means Father’s Day is just a couple of Sundays away. It’s a day we dedicate to celebrating the people in our life we call Dad, and this is usually done by showering them with gifts. With this said, it’s an important time for retailers who are under pressure to release and promote amazing products. With customer spending on the increase as the holiday encroaches, how do stores jump on the popular gift bandwagon?

First things first, a little history

You’ll be surprised to know that Father’s Day in the UK is not actually a recognised holiday, despite being celebrated all over the world.

It’s not a surprise on the other hand that it’s a practice that we’ve adopted from our friends across the pond. The origin of the modern Father’s Day is said to have come from early 20th century America. After a Mining Disaster in 1908, daughters who lost their fathers called for a day to celebrate their memory – but this was turned down by the local authority.

Sonora Smart Dodd was more successful. In 1910, she campaigned for a day to celebrate her father who single-handedly brought her up along with her 5 siblings. This is what got the ball rolling, and in 1972 President Nixon declared it an official US public holiday.

Today in the UK, we celebrate all things Dad on the third Sunday of June.

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The retail side of things

Many popular grocers such as Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Tesco have already begun releasing gift guides, promotional offers and specialised products to entice those scratching their heads over what to get.

Through monitoring customer spending, many studies have shown that Father’s Day accumulates only half the spends that Mother’s Day does, despite having found that in 2018, 75% of the men in the UK said they were celebrating it. Researcher’s like Dr Lars Perner of the University of Southern California suggest this may be because our fathers are perceived to be “less interested in tangible tokens of appreciation”.

With this said, according to Global Data UK, in 2017 consumers spent a whopping £700 million on Father’s Day gifts alone. But what exactly are people spending their money on? When looking at the grocer giants – there seem to be a few common denominators which span across the years, as well as crop up in every “Best gift for Father’s Day” guide:

  • Meat and BBQ – including steaks, burgers, BBQ equipment and accessories which could be explained by the time of year.
  • Whisky
  • Chocolate – in specialised gift packaging

It may be that the apparent disregard for Father’s Day equates to the push for the same kind of gifts each year as there is no need to expand the search. Or it could be that these repeated promotions prove Dr Perner right in saying that our Dad’s aren’t really that bothered and that “safe” options are the way to go.

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What can your store do?

With safe and returning trends, at least there are some security indefinite sales – but one does need to stand out from the crowd once and a while! Just to keep things fresh.

For Father’s Day 2018, Morrisons released “The Daddy of All Steaks” – a 32 oz steak which was the biggest steak ever to be released by supermarkets. Well, of course, social media and blogs went crazy, and Morrisons had themselves a great marketing project; all whilst sticking to what’s popular. Food for thought…

Getting by with a little help from Tactical

At Tactical Solutions, we can log and monitor your newly chosen Father’s Day products with our bespoke software like Reapp. It helps us to quickly resolve dips in productivity and creates a clear report so you can see for yourself how your products are doing. Plus, our Territorial Sales Managers can help deploy and improve your visual merchandising in order to increase your promotional activity – enabling you to take advantage of all the sales opportunities this holiday brings.