Father's Day spending is expected to hit an all-time high of $11 billion in 2011, the group says, and Americans will shell out an average of $106.49 on gifts for Dad - up from $94.32 last year. The number is the highest in the survey's eight-year history. Last year, Father's Day spending estimates totaled $9.8 billion.
The NRF attributed the increase to family members' desire to make up for years of lackluster gifts.
"Spending on Dad has taken a backseat for the past few years, but some kids and wives are planning to make up for lost time this Father's Day," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release. "Shoppers seem to be more excited when it comes to gift giving, an encouraging sign for retailers - and dads - everywhere."
But even with the uptick in spending, dads still play second fiddle to moms in the gift giving department. NRF estimates from earlier this year put Mother's Day spending at a projected $16.3 billion, with Americans spending an average of $140.73 on presents for Mom.
The NRF's estimates are based on a survey of 8,344 consumers conducted from May 3-10. Survey results indicate that more people will be taking dad on a special outing this year, spending $2.1 billion on activities like golfing, eating out or heading to the movies.
Fathers will also receive more gift cards ($1.4 billion), sporting goods ($653 million) and automotive accessories ($593 million) this year, though traditional Father's Day gifts like electronics ($1.3 billion), clothing ($1.4 billion), home improvement or gardening tools and appliances ($1.4 billion) and books or CDs ($598 million) are also expected to remain popular.
"Shoppers are putting more thought into Father's Day gifts and are seeking out the perfect personal - yet practical - gift to say thank you to the man who's always been there for them." Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategic initiatives for BIGresearch, the market research company that conducted the survey for the NRF, said in a press release.
Holiday spending has been up across the board this year with estimates for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Easter and even St. Patrick's Day besting 2010 numbers.