Inflation weakens Father’s Day demand

Father’s Day sales are anticipated to reach £986m in 2022, an increase in market size of 4% year-on-year. Despite record breaking retail spending on the event, the growth has been driven by rising prices rather than an uplift in shopper demand. Indeed, sales volumes are likely to decline, compared to 2021.

While shoppers report increasing spending on food, drinks and cards, categories including clothing, beauty products and experiences are set to move into reverse.

Throughout 2022, we’ve seen calendar events (such as Valentine’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day) deliver record breaking sales for retailers. While Father’s Day continues the streak in term of cash ringing through the tills, inflation means retailers stand to sell fewer items – especially in higher margin categories like clothing and beauty. We see shoppers are planning to focus their spending on buying food and drinks to have at home (65% of those planning to celebrate will do so at home).

While inflation has undoubtedly taken a bite out of Father’s Day sales, it is not necessarily the only factor. Shoppers think many retailers are missing a trick, with 69% of those who are celebrating the event saying that the products in shops are boring and lack inspiration. 56% told us that they would spend more if they could find a better selection of products.

Online shopping is particularly prominent among Father’s Day gifters, with 65% expecting they’ll buy gifts from an online retailer. After supermarkets, Amazon is the biggest source of Father’s Day gift inspiration, used by 56% of those planning to buy something.

Many trends we’ve seen develop during other calendar events are reflected in the Father’s Day research:

  • 66% would rather buy gifts from smaller and independent retailers
  • 58% want to buy sustainable gifts
  • 49% plan to buy a personalised gift
  • Especially amongst younger shoppers, social media is an increasingly important source of inspiration

With the cost-of-living crisis encouraging shoppers to consider what they spend more carefully, the onus is on retailers to inspire and provide ideas. Increasingly the traditional supermarket seasonal aisle will not cut it, especially among younger shoppers. Some of the larger players should look at what smaller and nimble competitors are doing, using social media to target shoppers with pinpoint precision and using innovative direct-to-consumer business models to get products shipped.

If you’re interested in the research findings or would like to hear more, please get in touch.