Father's Day books, golf shirts and jackets, plus other golf paraphernalia are hot Father's Day gifts at Lazarus in Florence.

Photo by VICKI PRICHARD / ChallengerNKY.com

Do You Know What Your Father Really Wants For Father's Day?

FLORENCE If you've waited until the 11th hour to find that perfect Father's Day gift, fret not, you won't be shopping alone.

"Yesterday was huge," says Lazarus Sales Associate Evan Kovarik on the Friday before Father's Day. "Through today and Sunday I'll probably triple my sales."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, sales at men's clothing stores exceeded $750 million in May and June of last year. And while neckties still hold the number one spot as a Father's Day gift, mothers and children are finding that there might be more options than having Dad tie a knot around his throat.

Kovarik says a lot of people go for the golf ensemble: golf shirts, jackets and shorts. Swimming trunks are growing in popularity, but they still don't outsell the perennial favorite, and always-safe staple, khaki shorts.

"Most people take some time to pick out what they want and they don't shop alone," Kovarik says. "They come in with the kids and pick things out together."

Kovarik says gift cards aren't a big item, which he attributes to the assumption that men don't want to come shopping for themselves.

And yet, some do, especially if they have a canine on their mind.

Dad's Best Friend

Robin Fox, a sales associate at Petland at Florence Mall, says they sell a lot of puppies to dads who come in to the store looking for a certain breed.

"Usually they like #151; especially in this area #151; large dogs, the hunting-type dogs, like labs, goldens and boxers," Fox says. "The bloodhound will probably be gone this weekend."

Sometimes the best gift is a little bit of pampering. Increasingly, spas are developing packages and services to appeal to men.

"Sometimes husbands are apprehensive, so women will come in and get treatments for them," says Eric Shank, a manager at Sableux Salon & Spa in Crestview Hills.

Shank says men are starting to utilize spa treatments like the French Body Polish ($45), which is a full-body exfoliation, and the sunless tan treatment ($75), which involves full-body exfoliation, moisturizing and then the application of a spray tanner, which is massaged into the body.

"It's very popular," says Shank.

Shank says the sport massage ($75) and deep-tissue massage ($80) are also popular with men.

The Facts of Dad

The celebration of Father's Day has its origins in the early 1900s. Sonora Dodd, of Spokane, Wash., was inspired during a Mother's Day sermon in 1909. Her father, William Smart, a widower and Civil War Veteran, raised her and her five siblings by himself. In 1910, the mayor of Spokane declared the first Father's Day celebration in the month of June, the month of William Smart's birthday. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Father's Day.

The number of stay-at-home dads has reached 105,000 and consists of married fathers with children under the age of 15 who are not in the labor force primarily so they can care for family members while their wives work outside the home. They care for 189,000 children.

There are currently 2 million single fathers, up from 393,000 in 1970. Today, one in six single parents is a single father, compared with one in 10 in 1970. Ten percent are raising three or more of their own children under 18; 45 percent are divorced; 34 percent have never married; 17 percent are married with an absent spouse, and four percent are widowed. Twenty-two percent of the single fathers are under 30, and 5 percent are 55 or older.

Posted 6-18-2004

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