77% of consumers are ready to make the father-focused holiday special after the months of quarantine, but 58% will still be celebrating virtually, according to NRF’s annual Father’s Day survey. Plus, flower shops had a boom in sales during Mother’s Day. Will appliances, tools and personal care experience a similar boost for dads?

Despite more states lifting state-at-home directives, 58% of consumers plan to celebrate Father’s Day virtually this weekend as the coronavirus is still a threat, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual Father’s Day consumer survey. Plus, 77% believe the holiday is important to celebrate given the coronavirus pandemic.

Total spending for Father’s Day could reach $17.0 billion, NRF says, beating out last year’s estimated total spend of $15.96 billion. NRF’s 2020 Father’s Day survey of 8,209 U.S. adults 18 and older was conducted May 1-8.

Similar to Mother’s Day gifting trends, in which shoppers still purchased flowers, stay-at-home life still reflects the types of gifts consumers plan to give their fathers. According to NRF, 25% plan to give personal care items, 21% plan to give tools or appliances and 19% plan to gift automotive accessories.

2020 boasts year-over-year increase

What’s notable about these percentages is the year-over-year increase. For example, consumers planning to gift personal care items grew 21% over last year, those planning to gift auto accessories grew 21% over last year, and those planning to gift tools or appliances grew 20% over last year.

“Months spent at home have given some consumers time to tackle home projects that have been on their lists,” writes Katherine Cullen, NRF’s senior director of industry and consumer insights in a blog. “Consumers want to make sure dads have the right gear as they launch their own HGTV-inspired projects. The percentage planning to gift tools, appliances or home improvement items grew significantly this year.”


Oxo.com, like many other houseware brands, is focused on promoting outdoor grilling products for Father’s Day.

The housewares brand has been adapting its messaging during the coronavirus outbreak to emphasize helping its customers rather than trying to sell to them, says Karen Schnelwar, vice president of global brand strategy and marketing for Oxo, one of the brands of Helen of Troy Ltd., which is No. 448 in the 2020 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000.

“But we want to make it appropriate for right now,” Schnelwar says. “It’s less about big get-togethers and backyard parties, and more about modest family dinners and let’s get outside and embrace grilling.”

Keeping a steady tone in uncertain times

Oxo took a similar approach for Mother’s Day when its marketing featured a virtual brunch for Mom. No one knows what’s going to happen with the coronavirus, Schnelwar says, “but we’re trying to maintain a steady tone and be as helpful as we can in impacting people’s lives at home.”

While 66% of consumers planned to celebrate Mother’s Day virtually—and perhaps some participated in Oxo.com’s virtual brunch—64% also planned to gift flowers for Mother’s Day, according to NRF’s Mother’s Day survey of 8,294 adult consumers April 1-6, 2020.


Although NRF does not track any post-Mother’s Day information, BloomNation.com—an online floral marketplace with about 3,500 florists delivering to nearly 5,000 cities in the U.S.—reported that flower shops in its network experienced “double the volume” of flower deliveries compared with Mother’s Day 2019.

Additionally, BloomNation says its average order value for flower orders for Mother’s Day was $107, and 58% of shoppers placed an order from their mobile device.

“Flower shops that were able to deliver often saw double the volume from last year,” says Gregg Weisstein, co-founder and chief operating officer of BloomNation. “Stay-at-home orders and being unable to personally socialize made the ability to send flowers that much more important. ”

Retailers that sell tools, appliances, automotive accessories and men’s personal care products will have to wait and see if they see a spike in sales for Father’s Day as flower retailers did for Mother’s Day.

Don Davis contributed to this report.