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TheStreet Open House

What Do Dads Want on Father's Day?

Father's Day is set for Sunday, as millions of dads grill, chill and settle down with their families to enjoy the day.

But deep down inside, are dads really getting what they want from Father's Day? Or do they believe they're getting short shrift compared with the fairer sex on Mother's Day?

The firm RetailMeNot.com says the gift dad really wants this weekend is quality time with the family.

Those are questions asked -- and hopefully answered -- by the online shopping site RetailMeNot.com, which shared its findings with us.

The Austin, Texas-based firm, which bills itself as the largest online coupon provider in the U.S., says that the gift dad really wants this weekend is quality time with the family. What he doesn't want are #1 Dad T-shirts and ties.

Under the surface, RetailMeNot says, dad may be harboring some bruised feelings about how Father's Day may be overshadowed by Mother's Day. Seventy-seven percent of men and women surveyed by the company says that sentiment would not be unwarranted; they say mothers definitely get more attention than dads get on their respective holidays.

Some other takeaways from the RetailMeNot survey:

  • Only 35% of father's want gifts that actually cost money on Father's Day. That's compared with 52% of moms who said they wanted gifts that cost money for Mother's Day.
  • Of those dads who do want gifts that cost money, gift cards (13%) and electronics (8%) were at the top of their wish list.
  • Forty percent of dads said they wanted "quality" time with their family this Sunday. Only 3% opted for "time alone" for the day, compared with 11% of moms for Mother's Day.
  • Fifty-one percent of respondents said they spent between $1 and $100 on Father's Day gifts. That compares with 67% who expressed the same sentiment on Mother's Day.
  • Sixty percent of dads expected no gifts at all for Father's Day.

The good news for dads who do want some gifts from the family is that this Father's Day is expected to see the highest level of gift spending ever, according to the National Retail Federation. The average consumer will spend $117 on Father's Day gifts, a surprising number given the lousy economy. That figure is up 10% from last year (at $106), with total money sent on Father's Day at $12.7 billion. "He may not ever expect the 'royal treatment' on Father's Day, but this year dad doesn't have much of a say as it's evident his loved ones want to make sure he has a great day," notes NRF chief executive officer Matthew Shay. "For those looking for the perfect gift idea, retailers will have specials on everything from patio sets and grills to ties and gardening tools in the weeks leading up to the holiday."

One relatively new market to watch is mobile shopping. The NRF reports that 25% of tablet computer owners will use the device to make a Father's Day purchase, while 26% of smartphone users plan on using their phones to research and make mobile purchases for the day.

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