Ties could be as popular a gift as ever this Father’s Day

Tomahawk Fishing Shop in Columbia is among the stores that could see an uptick in business for Father’s Day.
Tomahawk Fishing Shop in Columbia is among the stores that could see an uptick in business for Father’s Day.

If you’re the average Father’s Day shopper, you’ve set aside about $116 to spend on dad this year, retail analysts say, so you’re probably not going to spend it all buying the old man an array of new neckties, right?

Well, apparel is always high on the list of gift items for Sunday’s event to commemorate dads and this year will be no exception, retailers say.

Four out of 10 people say they plan to buy their dads clothes: a dress shirt or, yes, a tie this year, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual Father’s Day shopping survey, which projects a total of $12.7 billion in sales.

Some of those shoppers live in Columbia.

“Our bow tie business is the best it’s been in our history,” said Perry Lancaster, store manager at Brittons of Columbia. “With us setting the record (for the most bow ties tied in five minutes) back in February of 2014 and Lucky Levinson (Brittons co-owner) having the No. 1 most-viewed YouTube site in the world, our bow tie business is stronger than it’s ever been.” Levinson’s video shows how to tie the perfect bow tie.

Even neck tie sales are “doing alright” this year heading into the busy Father’s Day shopping weekend, Lancaster said. “But it’s mostly bow ties.”

Apparel for dad this Father’s Day is expected to account for $1.7 billion in spending, the retail federation’s survey said.

Other kinds of apparel for dad also are doing well, Lancaster said. Sportswear, whether it be shorts, knits shirts, or swim wear are doing well this Father’s Day as people prepare for vacation on the beaches, waterways or golf courses of the state, he said.

As dad is ready to relax at a casual party, Brittons of Columbia is moving its inventory of linen sports coats out the door for Father’s Day, Lancaster said.

Any number of other gift ideas also abound for Father’s Day, retail analysts say.

“Spending on grilling and patio necessities, pool gear, sporting goods, apparel and other gift and seasonal merchandise could be the positive stepping-stone retailers need heading into the second half of the year,” said Matthew Shay, the federation’s president and CEO, in a statement that accompanied this year’s survey.

Gifts such as tickets for a ball game or a special meal with the family, called experience gifts, are popular in the survey, too, accounting for a projected $2.6 billion this Father’s Day, the federation said.

New gadgets such as a smartphone or tablet made this year’s list of favorite items for dad, followed by gift cards and greetings cards.

Late shoppers don’t need to worry too much. “Saturday will be very busy,” Lancaster said.

Reach Burris at (803) 771-8398

Twitter: @RoddieBurris