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Compared with Moms', Dads' Day a dud for shops

By Jin Zhu (China Daily)

09:45, June 18, 2012

A daughter tenderly feeds sweets to her dad on June 17, Father's Day, at a drug rehabilitation center in Qionghai, Hainan province. (Meng Zhongde / For China Daily)

Compared with Mother's Day, the annual festive day for fathers brought far less business opportunities in China.

"Father's Day is not a special business opportunity for many shop owners. During the past week, we recommended some gifts for fathers, such as clothes and shavers, but the discounts were small," said Wang Zhiyong, a marketing worker at Zhongyou Department Store, a popular shopping mall in Beijing, on Sunday.

"The store has more items for women since they're always the majority spending money here. In contrast, the choices of goods for men are limited," he said.

For instance, only about 10 percent of the clothes sold in the store are for men, he said.

The limited range of gifts for fathers "is the main reason that the store had lukewarm business compared with the days before Mother's Day," he said, though he declined to give sales figures.

The story was similar online.

Sun Yuxing, a public relations staffer at Taobao, a popular shopping website, told China Daily that compared with gifts for mothers, many consumers have no idea what to get their fathers.

"So far, only a few online stores have held sales promotions for Father's Day. For most sellers, their trade volume is seeing no big surge this weekend," said Zhao Jingpeng, another Taobao employee.

In Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province, the total spending through online group buying for Father's Day was only about 25 percent of the amount for Mother's Day in 2011, according to statistics from tuan800, a group purchasing navigation website.

More than 28 percent of the respondents didn't even know what day Father's Day falls on, according to a survey of nearly 1,000 people by the Xi'an-based Huashang Daily.

Zhang Chengdong, secretary-general of the Jiangsu Festivals and Events Association, urged people to give more thought to their fathers.

"In Chinese families, fathers always spent much time at work, instead of taking care of the children. Therefore, many people have no deep impression of their father's love," he said.

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