Deals for Dad’s Day

Discussion
Jun 13, 2006
George Anderson

By George Anderson


Marshal Cohen, chief analyst at NPD Group, has it nailed. “If you forget Mother’s Day, you’re dead,” he told The Associated Press.


On the other hand, according to Mr. Cohen and others, forgetting to buy Dad a gift on Father’s Day is really no big deal.


Well, retailers are out to change that.


Sears, for example, is looking to give Father’s Day a “Christmas-like status,” according to Corinne Gudovic, a company spokeswoman. To that end, Sears has caroling males singing holiday tunes with new lyrics such as “O’ Plasma Screen” at malls in the New York and Chicagoland areas.


Home Depot, a favorite destination for manly gifts, has stepped up its Father’s Day marketing efforts with advertising that goes beyond simple circulars to include television and online.


Mike Boylson, chief marketing officer at J.C. Penney, said the department store chain is expanding hours as well as its assortment of gifts to help family members see the retailer as a Dad’s Day destination.


NPG Group’s Cohen said this Father’s Day is different from the past.


“This year, Father’s Day is very important and very opportunistic. But with that comes greater risk. You have to spend more to market and you have to risk more with greater inventory,” he said.


Many, it seems, believe it is a risk worth taking.


According to the National Retail Federation, consumers plan to spend $9 billion for this year’s holiday, compared to $8.2 billion last year.


For sure, expenditures for Father’s Day still remain miniscule when compared to Mother’s Day, but the “glass half full” crowd see this as representing a greater upside potential.


Moderator’s Comment: Do you see a marked difference in how retailers are promoting this year’s Father’s Day compared to holidays in the past? What do
you believe are the keys to successfully promoting the holiday from a retail perspective and are there any businesses that meet your criteria?

George Anderson – Moderator

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8 Comments on "Deals for Dad’s Day"


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Mark Burr
Guest
14 years 8 months ago
Okay, I might step in it here, but I am willing to take the heat. Does it strike anyone else that this may be a perfect explanation of where men and women are really different? They really are – different! Certainly, I know, times have changed, but in many areas they haven’t. I think men are far less likely to buy for themselves and less likely to want or expect the same type of recognition of Father’s Day as we have come to recognize and gift for Mother’s day. There are real differences here – I think. You can always bring up the tie thing; it’s a great example of the differences. I’d love a new tie for Father’s Day and in fact there will be one in the box for Dad as well. Why? Because I am less likely to buy one myself even though both my Dad and I enjoy them, even if I rarely wear one and he wears one nearly daily. A new one is a treat. It strikes me that… Read more »
Nicholas Armentano
Guest
Nicholas Armentano
14 years 8 months ago

I think Lord & Taylor is doing a good job in promoting Father’s Day. It is giving away a motor scooter and gas cards. Lord & Taylor can promote its menswear and men’s skin care offerings, which it needs to do as the growth in women’s apparel and cosmetics has stagnated. Father’s Day is a great way to market to a demographic that is buying more fashionable merchandise and making more of its shopping decisions. Men are shopping more, witness the rise of GQ and Details magazines with their fashion spreads. Lord & Taylor, as well as other department stores, can also promote their offerings in electronic gifts (iPods, DVD players, etc.).

Ben Ball
Guest
14 years 8 months ago

Note to Scanner:

If you have a stud finder that actually works, I’ll gladly take it off your hands!

Carol Spieckerman
Guest
14 years 8 months ago
Father’s Day is notoriously tough for the gift-giver. Dads are known not to ask for much and you don’t normally hear them saying “I want, I want” throughout the year. The date creeps up and, all of a sudden, there you are idea-less and desperate! I think that too many retailers take the approach of just slapping a “great for Father’s Day” tag on items that they normally carry, even when they are a complete stretch, rather than thoughtfully presenting collections of items for certain kinds of Dads (those who are tech-savvy, those who are handy, those that have particular interests . . .). It’s interesting to me that websites do a better job of enabling gift searches (literally) and presenting ideas, though most still focus on women. Finally, experiential gifts have always been about women or couples (or awkward “gee thanks” facials or massages for men). Affordable sports, travel or even cooking experiences for dads would probably be considered more often if retailers and etailers stepped up to present them.
Karin Miller
Guest
Karin Miller
14 years 8 months ago

Now that women have gained equality on most fronts, and have surpassed men by some measures, I see indicators that fathers, and good men in general, are starting to gain back the appreciation and respect they seem to have lost in recent decades. I predict that the advertisers who are reminding us that good fathers deserve a day of appreciation will generate incremental sales because their message is legitimate.

Matt Werhner
Guest
Matt Werhner
14 years 8 months ago

Father’s Day is Barnes & Noble’s second biggest selling season of the year and the company achieves this with zero mainstream marketing efforts. The recipe for success includes an increased inventory of discounted titles, and of course they sell products that many Dads enjoy receiving (example: no ties).

Stephan Kouzomis
Guest
Stephan Kouzomis
14 years 8 months ago

Well, the verdict has always been known about Mom’s Day. And it is a special tribute to Moms.

Today, in our world of parenthood, it has evolved, if not dramatically… been redefined, for the better of our children.

But, don’t kid yourself. In today’s world of Dads being one parent, stay at home fathers, or just INVOLVED, Dad’s Day has been elevated in many ways. Just not in eating out, or gifts.

The emotional button that retailers must hit could be a bonanza, but it is a different story line than the Mother’s Day pitch. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

Mark Lilien
Guest
14 years 8 months ago

Father’s Day promotions haven’t been very innovative. Macy’s ran multiple pages of watch ads, and other retailers also ran typical Father’s Day ads. “More of the same” won’t give this holiday a quantum leap sales increase. Maybe mothers and fathers could use gift registries. Maybe there are other ways to be truly innovative. Ads for watches, ties, and polo shirts aren’t world-beaters.

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