The National Retail Federation projects the average American will spend $117.14 on dad this Father's Day for a total of more than $12 billion. Here are some of the top spending categories:
Special outing - $2.358 billion
Electronics - $1.739 billion
Clothing - $1.711 billion
Gift certificates - $1.703 billion
Greeting cards - $827 million
Tools or appliances - $738 million
Home improvement/gardening tools - $729 million
Personal care - $684 million
Books or CDs - $645 million
Car accessories - $551 million
Source: National Retail Federation
Every new set of parents must take on feeding and diaper-changing responsibilities, but the slew of new holiday responsibilities can be particularly difficult to master.
"It's something I never had to think about," said new mom Cara Moon as she and 5-month-old Camryn shopped for Father's Day gifts Friday. "Then I thought, 'Oh no. It's this weekend.'"
Moon is one of millions of Americans who searched this week for the perfect tie, golf club or gadget to show their fathers and husbands how much they care. Most of the more than $12 billion expected to be spent on dad will go to clothes, electronics, gift cards and special nights out.
Several area businesses are feeling the love. Chris Manning, manager at the Hamilton Place mall Belk, said sales have been stronger so far than in past years.
"Sales have been very good this week. Men tend to shop later, and women tend to shop later for their men, so we are anticipating a very strong weekend," he said. "It's really all about the weekend, and the focus is on dad this weekend."
The average consumer will spend $117.14 on dad by the time Sunday ends, according to consumer surveys conducted for the National Retail Federation. That spending tops pre-recession levels of $98.30 in 2007, but dad still falls well behind mom in the holiday spending race. Mother's Day spending bottomed out at $123.90 in 2009, nearly $7 more than Dad's peak this year.
Still, $12 billion is anything but chump change. Special outings such as family dinners are expected to pull the largest portion of that money.
"Normally we get booked up," said Daniel Palmer, supervisor at Porter's Steakhouse.
Palmer said Father's and Mother's Day Sundays easily top most every other Sunday of the year.
"We expect this to be the best Father's Day we've had in a long time," he said.
It certainly will be for the Moons. Twelve Father's Days have come and gone since Cara Moon met her husband, but this is the first year she's had reason to mark the occasion.
Moon and her daughter were at Golfsmith near Hamilton Place mall Friday grabbing him some golf gear. She can barely hit a ball off a tee, but he loves the sport. The best Father's Day present could one day be dad and daughter hitting the links together.
"He claims she'll be on the LPGA Tour," Moon said.
If Camryn does make the pros, Moon said she can have the clubs her husband could never quite teach her to use.
"They're waiting for you when you're old enough," she said as Camryn smiled and twisted in her arms. "I'll even blow the dust off them for you."