8 Father’s Day Promotion Ideas to Try in Your Retail Store

Father’s Day is upon us, and if recent retail forecasts are correct, this year is going to be a big one.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) forecasts consumers to spend an average of $174 this Father’s Day, up from $148 from 2020.

According to the NRF’s 2021 survey, 75% of consumers plan to celebrate Father’s Day this year, with the top gift ideas being greeting cards, clothing, and a special outing.

Read on to get some actionable ideas and tips on how to win over shoppers this coming Father’s Day.

1. Start with the right displays

Like with any other holiday, you’ll want to set up a special Father’s Day display in your store so you can showcase your dad-centric merchandise. 

And remember that the most popular gift categories for Father’s Day include:

  • personal care
  • home and garderning
  • tools and appliances

Another interesting fiding? Consumers are focused on finding a gift for dad that is unique or diffirent. Last year, when consumers were asked on what’s most important to them when picking out a Father’s Day gift, they responded with the following:

  • 41% said that they want to find a gift that’s unique or different
  • 36% said they’re looking for a gift that creates a special memory
  • 26% said they to find a gift that’s convenient for them
  • 18% said they want to find a gift that’s cheaper or most cost-effective
  • 11% responded with “other”

The data tells us that this year, most consumers aren’t looking for the cheapest or even the most conveneint Father’s Day gift. They’re shopping for presents that are unique and memorable. 

Keep this tidbit in mind when deciding on which products to showcase in your store.

And if you’re looking for real-life inspiration, here’s an example of a great Father’s Day display from Paddington Station in Ashland, OR:

Don’t have a lot of merchandise for men? Consider selling gift cards or greeting cards instead.

Take a look at what the UPS Store on 38th & Peach is doing. Since they’re more of a printing and mailing shop, they don’t sell the typical dad-centric merchandise like menswear or electronics.

That didn’t stop them from getting in on the Father’s Day fun, though. To stay relevant, this UPS Store stocked up on a bunch of greeting cards you can give to dad.

2. Run a digital campaign specifically for Father’s Day

We can expect ecommerce to be a significant retail channel for consumers buying presents for dad. In 2019, 34% of shoppers said they planned to purchase Father’s Day gifts online.

What does this mean for you? Well, if you’re not ramping up your online strategy yet, it’s high time to do so.

Start with the low-hanging fruit and add a banner or section on your website specifically for Father’s Day. Also be sure to craft an email marketing campaign encouraging people to check out your store for some great gifts or gift ideas.

One retailer that’s executing this incredibly well is Untuckit. In mid-May of last year, they sent out a Father’s Day-centric email featuring matching styles of men’s and boys’ shirts to promote a “like dad, like son” message.

Untuckit also has a special section on their website to showcase these styles. And to top it all off? They’re running a dad’s day promotion in which shoppers can buy a men’s shirt and get a boys’ shirt for 50% off.

3. Curate a special Father’s Day collection

Help those having trouble shopping for dad by curating bundles or collections specifically for Father’s Day. Aside from making the gift selection easier on your shoppers, curating a handful of items allows you to showcase your range of stock.

In some cases, it can even help you sell your slow-moving stock. By bundling slow-movers with better-performing merchandise, you can clear your shelves and avoid having too much capital tied up in inventory.

One idea is to curate a gift basket. Get inspiration from the folks at Once Upon A Gem, which recently came up with a basket containing various personal care items for dad.

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Here’s another cool example of a retailer putting bundles to good use. This Is Ground, an online store that sells leather goods, created a “Dad Kit”, which is a collection of various leather items that dads can use every day.

4. Run conditional Father’s Day promotions

Speaking of promotions, if you’re looking to further entice people to buy their Father’s Day gifts from your store, consider applying promotions to specific products or categories. Like Untuckit, you could do something along the lines of “buy a men’s shirt and get a discount on your other purchase.”

Other examples include: buy and save off specific items (e.g., “Buy two men’s shirts and save 20%”) or buy a certain number of items, then pay a fixed price (e.g., 5 men’s ties for $80”).

Vend Tip

Already using Vend? Check out our page for Advanced Promotion Options so you can learn more about how you can implement multi-save and conditional promotions.

Learn More

If you have a loyalty program, consider rewarding shoppers extra points or dollars for spending on specific items.

MyDIY.ie implements this for slow-moving products, but you can apply the same concept for items that you want to sell around Father’s Day. You can, for instance, offer double or triple loyalty points for categories like menswear, electronics, or sports.

Vend Tip

Already running a promotion? Get the word out by printing your promo offers together with your receipts. PromoPRNT from Star Micronics lets you do just that. PromoPRNT lets merchants effortlessly create promotions that are printed in addition to point of sale (POS) receipts, helping get your promotions into your customers’ hands.

Learn More

5. Have a sense of humor

If there’s one time of the year when dad jokes will be (fairly) well-received, that would be Father’s Day.

So, consider injecting some dad humor in campaigns. Whether it’s adding a joke in your next email, sharing a funny video on Facebook, or posting a dad quip on Instagram, grab the opportunity to crack some dad jokes — they’re very timely and you might even get some laughs out of it!

And of course, if you have some humorous products for men, now is the best time to promote them. The clothing brand Look Human, for example, is promoting more of their funny Father’s Day products on their site as well as on social media:

Meanwhile, Zazzle created a section on their site specifically for funny Father’s Day presents.

6. Sell dad-centric gift cards

We talked a bit about gift cards earlier in this post, but they’re worth mentioning again. As of 2019, gift cards were the fourth most popular gift choice for Father’s Day (next to greeting cards, special outings, and clothing).

There’s certainly a case for stocking up on gift cards for the occasion — particularly if you don’t sell experiences or menswear.

If you haven’t done so yet, order a few Father’s Day-themed gift cards and put them in key areas of your store, such as the checkout counter and those special displays we talked about earlier.

7. Create a gift guide

Gift guides are always a good idea for big retail events and special occasions — and Father’s Day is no exception.

For Father’s Day, identify the items in your catalog that would appeal most to dads, and create a gift guide containing those products. For best results, put your merchandise into different gift categories.

Nordstrom, for example, uses pricing tiers (e.g., “Gifts Under $50,” Gifts Under $100,” etc.)  to categorize its Father’s Day gift items.

8. Avoid stereotypes

Whatever type of promotion or campaign you decide to run, be mindful of the dad images that you’re portraying. A study by Dove Men+Care Internal Research found that “only 7% of men can relate to depictions of masculinity in media.”

To combat these stereotypes, Dove created a great campaign focusing on father’s who care. Take a look at one of their videos below.

Examine your offers or messages for Father’s Day to determine if they would really resonate with your target customers. Ask yourself, what type of dad would use your products? Would it be the macho or aloof type? Or would be someone who’s warm or cares about his appearance?

Also, consider how moms or kids see the father-figures in their lives — after all mothers and children would be your main customers for this holiday. Find out their perceptions around dads and then make sure that your campaigns reflect those perceptions.

Your turn

Doing something special for Father’s Day? Let us know by tweeting at us or dropping us a line on Facebook!

About Francesca Nicasio

Francesca Nicasio is Vend's Retail Expert and Content Strategist. She writes about trends, tips, and other cool things that enable retailers to increase sales, serve customers better, and be more awesome overall. She's also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest, a free eBook to help retailers future-proof their stores. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+.