By Karen Axelton

photo fathersFather’s Day is coming up and small-business owners can expect to profit a bit more from dear old Dad than they did last year. The National Retail Federation’s 2010 Father’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey reports that the average American plans to spend $94.32 on Dad this year, up from $90.89 last year. Total spending for Father’s Day is projected at $9.8 billion.

What are consumers spending on? Restaurateurs will benefit most: 39.9 percent of people celebrating Father’s Day will take Dad to a special meal, spending $1.9 billion. Gift cards, given by 31.2 percent of respondents will account for $1.2 billion in spending. Other top gifts include:

  • Clothes ($1.3 billion)
  • Electronics ($1.2 billion)
  • Greeting cards ($749 million)
  • Tools/appliances ($578 million)
  • Home improvement or gardening tools ($550 million)
  • Automotive accessories ($400 million)

“People are starting to open up their wallets again,” says Matt Shay, president and CEO of the NRF. Fathers and stepfathers aren’t the only ones consumers are buying gifts for. Americans will also treat their

  • Husband (27.1 percent)
  • Son (7.4 percent)
  • Grandfather (4.4 percent)
  • Brother (5.1 percent)
  • Friend (4.9 percent)

It’s good to hear that sales are looking up–but don’t get so busy marketing your Father’s Day gift items that you forget to wish the father(s) in your life a happy day.