According to NRF's 2014 Father's Day Spending Survey, total spending on next weekend's holiday is expected to reach $12.5 billion. That's 37.2 percent lower than the $19.9 billion the trade agency estimated was spent on Mother's Day.
In a similar vein, a survey from RetailMeNot, the coupon website aggregator, found that more people buy Mother's Day gifts for mom than Father's Day gifts for dad — 86 percent versus 77 percent, respectively.
In other findings from the RetailMeNot survey conducted by The Omnibus Company:
"Our surveys have found that people feel indebted to mom because of everything she has done for us, and likely feel less of an obligation to please dad," Trae Bodge, senior editor RetailMeNot, told TheStreet.
Another challenge, Ms. Trae said, is that dad is harder to buy for, with kids and wives often resorting to uninspired gifts. In a similar survey from RetailMeNot from 2013, dad's "do not gift" list included ties (32 percent), t-shirts with dad-related slogans (27 percent) and coffee mugs (19 percent).
A recent survey by a third-party tied to Omaha Steaks' "T-Bones - Not Ties" advertising campaign likewise found that 86 percent of more than 1,000 dads preferred steak over a tie for Father's Day.
At the top of dads' Father's Day wish lists on RetailMeNot's survey were gift cards (17 percent) and quality time spent with family (17 percent).
The NRF survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, also showed for the third-straight year that the most popular gift for dad behind greeting cards is a special outing.
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement that with more people looking for "experience gifts" such as tickets to baseball games or a day on the golf course, retailers should "make sure to promote their gift cards for families hoping to create the perfect gift package."
How effectively have retailers tapped into the experiential gifts that are increasingly preferred by dads?