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Crossroads retailers offer up Father's Day ideas

By ALLISON MILES
June 13, 2012 at 1:13 a.m.


Follow the money

Nationwide, this year's top Father's Day gifts include:

Special outings: $2.3 billion

Electronic gifts: $1.7 billion

Apparel: $1.7 billion

Gift cards: $1.7 billion

Books or music: $645 million

Sporting goods: $641 million

SOURCE: NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION NEWS RELEASE

From power tools to outdoor grills and lawn equipment itching to get outside, Lentz True Value Hardware is all set for the next gift-giving holiday.

"It may be a little harder to find things for Mother's Day," store manager Ray Shannon said with a laugh, "but Father's Day we can do."

Yes, Dad's big day is just around the corner - Sunday, to be exact. And, for those who haven't yet found that perfect gift, there's still time.

Consumers nationwide plan to spend an average of $117.14 on Father's Day gifts, according to a National Retail Federation news release. That's up 10 percent from 2011's $106.49.

Overall, spending will reach an estimated $12.7 billion.

Hastings hoped to put a bit of zip in Dad's step this holiday, with coffee - and coffee accessories - serving as this year's big buys, said Stephanie Zapata, the store's cafe manager.

"We're trying to help keep dads awake," she said.

Zapata said people seem to gravitate toward French presses, travel mugs and coffee beans and said the store has been slightly busier recently with people searching for that just-right present.

For the more tech-oriented dad, computers seem to be the way to go this year, said Jasmyn Hysaw, digital technology specialist with Victoria's Best Buy. That includes premium laptops, Ultrabook slimline laptops and tablets, she said.

Accessories, such as laptop speakers, also go over well and cater to a variety of price ranges, she said, while digital SLR cameras allow Dad to capture his Father's Day memories forever.

Dillard's has trained wardrobing specialists on hand to help shoppers who aren't sure what Dad's looking for, said Julie Allen, the store's men's area sales manager.

"They ask the right questions," she said. "If he's a businessman, into sports, loves golf or hunting. Whatever type of person he is, they can put together the right outfit."

The store's big-and-tall section offers fits people won't find most other places in town, Allen said, while fragrances, wallets and sunglasses are other gift options.

Back at Lentz, Shannon said the shop offered a bit of everything, including $20 pocket knives, jerky makers and $800 grills.

"It just depends on what type of person he is," he said. "We cover a lot of things for the dads."

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